• Abdul SABOOR

Migrant messages

On the Balkans route he took, from Belgrade to Paris, via Calais, Abdul Saboor committed himself to immortalize migrants and the graffitis they left on walls of cities they went through, before crossing new borders.
He also captured his peers’ pleas, whether under house arrest or once they reached their destination, making sure they were no longer invisible.
Abdul Saboor began his work at the illegal camp « The Barracks » in Belgrade, where some 1,200 people were blocked at the European Union borders, without showers, toilets or drinking water.
In winter months, the inhabitants have to endure extreme cold, with temperatures as low as -15°C.

In the slum, a permanent toxic smoke emanates from sleeping bags and railway sleeper wood used to make a fire to keep warm and cook.
Abdul Saboor shared his daily life with refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. He decided to photograph their lives and document their stories to be shared with the outside world. As he couldn’t speak the local language, his telephone and his camera were his only means of communication to bear witness. During the year he spent in Serbia, he tried to leave the country several times but was systematically arrested by the police.
His photos depict a reality inaccessible to journalists, they first circulated on social networks, and were finally broadcast in international media.

After a long journey, he finally reached Paris, where he keeps documenting migrants’ life just outside Paris and Calais. His photos reflect an often hidden reality and testify of an obstructed voice, snuffed out by official speeches.



Born in 1992 in Nangrahâr, Afghanistan, Abdul Saboor had to provide for himself from an early age on. He worked for the US Army for six years.
Wanted by the Talibans, he was forced to flee his country. Always travelling with his camera, or his mobile phone, he has immortalized the journey of his exile, his two years spent across Europe to reach France, where he decided to settle in 2017.
His photographs are exhibited in Serbia, Spain, England, Poland and France, showcased at the Department of Culture, the « Cité des Mots », the « Belle de Mai » industrial wasteland, the « Sénart » theater, the CCAM – national scene - in Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy.
Member of Artists in exile workshop since 2018, he keeps photographying migrants’ daily life in Paris, Calais, and volunteers’ action in the field, for a book publishing project.
He is also conducting a project about drug addicts at Paris gates (the crack hill).