Za’atari digital exhibition

THIS EXHIBITION PRESENTS THREE DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON CHILDREN’S LIVES
AT THE ZA’ATARI CAMP.

Five children at the camp have had the opportunity to show, through their eyes, how life continues despite the particular context in which they are living. In partnership with a local NGO, these youngsters have benefited from training as photographers, and the UEFA foundation provided cameras to allow them to produce their own exhibition and promote it beyond the borders of the Za’atari camp. The aspiring photographers were very keen to take part in this project, and using professional cameras was a wonderful experience for them. They were supervised by Mahmoud Hamed Al Hariri, a football coach at the camp, who also took a few pictures.

Pascale Cholette, a French photographer who works for the digital agency Future Learning, felt the great contrast between her freedom and that of the refugees, who are held captive by fences. Describing herself as a captive of her European mindset and Western culture, she decided to use the lights of the desert to free the youngsters from the reality around them, and to simply focus on what they are – children.

Rawan Risheq, a Jordanian photographer, had a fascinating experience. She was granted access to mosques and homes, and visits to youth centres and playgrounds enabled her to understand how a refugee’s life is organised, and how the Syrians have adjusted after years in the camp. Many children were happy to be photographed, but some would barely smile – they seemed like grown adults in children’s bodies.

Rawan came across a great deal of talent, and so many powerful expressions that held stories of survival within them.