Refugee Hotel Opens This Friday At The Bronx Documentary Center

photo: Bhanu Poydel practices yoga to unwind after his arrival to New Jersey from a Bhutanese refugee camp, 2009. ©Gabriele Stabile

From the BDC:

The Bronx Documentary Center is pleased to present Refugee Hotel, an exhibtion of photographs by Gabriele Stabile. In more than sixty photographs, the exhibition chronicles refugees during their first night in the United States and their lives in resettlement. This is Stabile’s first one-person exhibition in New York City.

A refugee is defined as a person who has crossed a border to escape persecution based religion, political opinion, sexual or ethnic identities. Hundreds of refugees are placed in New York City each year, and of those more than 90% are resettled in the Bronx. For six years Stabile worked in coordination with the International Organization for Migration and other resettlement organizations around the country to photograph refugees from Cuba, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East as they set foot on American soil. Customarily, their first nights are spent at a string of airport hotels in major US metropolises. Stabile writes, “ The first night in America is for all of them the start of a new life with new possibilities, but also another fatal, definitive step away from home.” He continues, “It is a moment on the cusp between two uncertainties, a past of displacement and an unknown future…a seemingly unassuming night they will remember for the rest of their lives alongside the fireproof carpet, the standardized furniture, and the floral bed cover.”

Stabile also captures his subjects’ as they adjust to small-town life in Fargo, North Dakota; Charlottesville, Virginia; Erie, Pennsylvania; Amarillo, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma. Resettlers face the practical and existential challenges of earning a living wage, adjusting to new communities, learning a foreign language, adopting or rejecting new cultural attitudes, and sorting through memories and traumas of the past.

Join us for the opening reception on Friday, September 27, from 6:30 to 9PM.

Refugee Hotel will be on view from September 28 – December 1, 2013

– See more at:

Volunteers, including myself, helped paint the gallery in preparation for the latest exhibition.
The army of dedicated volunteers is a testament to what a wonderful place the Bronx Documentary Center is to so many.
Facebook Comments
Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.