For the last week I’ve been working in the Syrian refugee camp Kara Tepe, and the refugee camp Moria, for all other refugees, on the beautiful Greek island of Lesbos. We have been interviewing and photographing primarily Syrians, Afghanis, Iraqis in the refugee camps, from day to night. The stories have been beyond epic.
I sat with 7 Syrian men last night in the camp Kara Tepe who had lived through, and told us of numerous horrific events in Syria. They left Syria because they had only two options. Join the Syria army, or die. Their journeys to live, and have better life have taken from a couple of months, to a couple of years, to end up in a over crowded smugglers sinking boat, that costs on a average $1,200.00 per person for the 20 minute + ride, to get to Lesbos Greece. When we met them they hadn’t eaten in 4 days and they only the clothes on their backs (because the boat sank and they lost everything). What I found amazing and humbling was how they have all lived through so much, and had a long and uncertain journey ahead of them, but they had a such gratitude, hope and peace in their eyes. I’ve met so many beautiful, hopeful men, woman and children in the camps. I feel so blessed.
I made a new 4″x5″ camera for this project. The project so far is called “Us & Them”. I created the camera to study the fictitious “us and then” that the power hungry create to objectify, dehumanize and dominate and sometimes kill other people.
The camera is one of the most intense cameras I have EVER made. I will show the camera, and talk about the artifacts in the camera once I am back home…
And just a note on peddling fear… An interesting thing happened last night. Walking around Kara Tepe (Syrian camp), it hit me that I felt far more at ease and secure in camp, than I do walking around 4th Ave, in my home town of Tucson AZ. Day or night.
It’s frustrating and saddening to read about what is happening in the US. It would be nice if the people making these decisions had some clue to what is really going on, and not making false fear based decisions.
#syrianrefugees #syrianrefugeecrisis #Syria #raiseituplesbos #waynemartinbelger