In the spring of 2016, the Finnish Museum of Photography, in cooperation with the study programme of museology at the University of Helsinki and the Festival of Political Photography, implemented a project that collected photographs by asylum seekers who had recently arrived in Finland, as well as memories and stories related to these photographs.
The donors were asked to choose 5–10 photographs stored on their mobile phones that meant the most to them. Often, the images formed a story about their home country, their difficult journey through Europe, and their hopes and dreams for Finland. The photographs describe the history of the people awaiting the decisions on their asylum applications at the reception centres, while capturing their new daily life in Finland.
The interviews that were conducted when the images were donated to the museum added up to 10 hours of material. Ahmed Alalousi, from Iraq, who worked on the project, edited the footage into a video in which the donors describe the images that are precious to them. Alalousi himself arrived in Finland in autumn 2015 as an asylum seeker, and he worked on the project as an interpreter, photographer and expert.
Mobile albums are exhibited at Process space as part of the The Festival of Political Photography.