What does statelessness look like around the world?
Greg Constantine spent 10 years trying to answer this question. Nowhere People, his new book released this month, tells stories of individuals across 12 countries who are denied citizenship and basic rights.
According to the United Nations, more than 10 million people around the world are stateless. Their countries don’t recognize them, and many do not have birth certificates, passports, or other legal documentation.
Reviewing Constantine’s book for Mother Jones, Mark Murrmann writes that a lack of documentation means that stateless people often “can’t leave the country that doesn’t want them.” In other words, “they’re stuck.”
Nowhere People is "a deep dig into a rather unsexy story. . . The book, in its scope and depth, brings to mind a vast Sebastiao Salgado project (think Migrations) or Ed Kashi's excellent Curse of the Black Gold book on the Nigerian oil industry."
The book itself, Murrmann writes, is "a hefty, beautiful beast. From the textured, embossed cover to the excellent black & white reproductions and smart layout, including nice foldout pages allowing for big, gorgeous horizontal images, it's a book that as an object itself stands out."
Nowhere People incorporates work from Constantine’s Pulitzer Center-supported reporting project, “Statelessness: A Human Rights Crisis.” A collaboration with freelance journalist and Pulitzer Center grantee Stephanie Hanes, the project explores stateless communities in Burma, Bangladesh, Kenya, Lebanon, and the Dominican Republic. Hanes and Constantine produced the e-book, “In Search of Home,” based on their reporting for this project.
Constantine’s new book amplifies the voices of individuals who have been made to feel that they are “nobody who belongs to nowhere.”
In a “Spotlight” for The Atlantic, Emily Anne Epstein notes that “by capturing the lives of these stateless people on camera,” Constantine’s work “creates a kind of documentation that governments have long denied them.” His book, she says, "gives an unparalleled view of what it is like to be denied citizenship."