6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or place within New York City. In this installment, photographer Flora Borsi presents a timely series on immigration. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
With Trump’s “anti-terror” travel ban having gone into effect Thursday night, 6sqft couldn’t think of a better time to share Hungarian photographer Flora Borsi‘s thought-provoking “Forgotten Dream.” Following a 2016 trip to Ellis Island, Borsi was moved and disturbed by the island that for decades provided a gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States, and a deathbed for another several thousand who were denied passage because of disease, mental instability, or a lack saleable skills, among other things.
With a desire to commemorate the 3,500 people who died in search of a better life, Borsi scoured historical archives for photos of real immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island around the 1900s. Because the images were originally black and white and sometimes faded, Borsi added color and superimposed them against modern New York City scenes to connect them to present day. By bringing these forgotten immigrants into the city, she says “In this way, their dream came true.”