Hungarian artist Flóra Borsi has been captivating us with her worksince she was a teen—whether it be her self-portrait and animal hybrids or bringing figures from abstract paintings to life. Now, with her new series The Forgotten Dream, she's taken her photo manipulations to a new level by tackling the topic of immigration.
Inspired by a visit to New York's Ellis Island, Borsi set about researching the history of immigration in the United States. Using archival images and combining them with photos of contemporary New York, she merges past and present. By forcing us to view these historical figures in a modern context, she reminds us of how much has remained the same for immigrants.
“Last year I’ve been to Ellis Island and I immediately had a bad feeling about that place. Approximately I knew what happened in Ellis Island and later I’ve been thinking about the likeness of current the immigration reforms in the United States,” Borsi writes. “I made a research and it’s really sad what happened to many Immigrants. Many of them died in Ellis Island while waiting and hoping for an opportunity for a new life. In this way their dream came true. I created this project as a reminder and commemorate to the 3,500 people who died there.”
Set in a new, colorized world, the historical figures carry an even greater weight. Lost, confused, yet hopeful, they wander the streets of their new home, seeking the opportunities they hope awaits them. The Forgotten People is a touching reminder of how the United States was built and the thousands of immigrants who helped move the nation forward at the turn of the 20th century.
Artist Flóra Borsi was inspired to integrate these historic images into a contemporary landscape through photo manipulation after a visit to Ellis Island.
She sees the series as a way to memorialize the 3,500 people who died at Ellis Island while waiting to enter the United States.
“Migration is an ongoing situation and the story of Ellis Island is still relevant nowadays. This is not history. This is today.”
These GIFs show the meticulous process that the artist uses to create these photo collages.