refuge

 

The photo series 'Refuge' captures portraits of minor refuges from Afghanistan and Syria. I got to spend a year with them, while working in a refugee settlement, which they called their home at that time. The boys escaped their countries without parents, due to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, gender, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. The symbolism in the portraits tells us and encourages a reflection about their unique experiences: risks of drowning while taking the sea route to Europe, experienced violence, hope and relieve at arrival while holding fear and uncertainty, transforming from boys to men within gender/sexuality/abuse stories, trauma memories of war, isolation in uprooting and rediscovery of identity and belonging.