Yto Barrada was born in 1971 and lives and works in Paris and Tangier in Morocco. She works with photography, found images, video and sculpture.
‘I became interested in photography in an absolutely incidental way. I was studying political science; I was living on the West Bank working on roadblocks and the strategies of people who tried to cross in negotiating with the Israeli police and I started documenting my work with photographs...I started to be interested in art and all the possibilities it gave me to introduce the political situation’.
Barrada is a member of the Arab Image Foundation, an archive of photographic images of Arab culture. Sleepers is part of
her project, A Life Full of Holes, which focuses on the Strait of Gibraltar, making a play on the word ‘strait’ to allude to narrowness and desperation. The photographs show economic migrants sleeping in Tangier parks. They are awaiting the dangerous journey by boat across the Strait of Gibraltar to Europe, where they will seek casual employment. Their illegal status is the result of recent legislation that has lead to Europe being described as a ‘fortress’.