NERA DI VERZASCA AWARD 2016
Children in exile
" The heart torn by children's bodies and the smell of the powder, shines like a burning log, in the dark day,
The heart which was surrounded by soldiers trucks and the sound of heavy weapons, became a resident of the refugee camps, a passerby in a hurry in the empty streets (...) "
Poem by Aram, translated from french from the anthology Love in the time of war and insurgency, by Maram Al Masri, p.47
In Syria, the death toll continues to mount. According to UN estimates, the Syrian civil war has made 260 000-470 000 deaths and 100 000-200 000 missings. Nearly 6 million Syrians have fled their country, nearly 3 million in Turkey. There, they try to rebuild themselves, often in anticipation of a return or a more favorable exile.
For the time being, in Turkey, they have no chance of obtaining refugee status or passport. What is life like when you don’t belong the place where you live, when you find yourself caught between a painful past and an uncertain future, living an unstable present, far from the country where you grew up, where you have gained your bearings and learned to love?
Those syrian refugee children were photographed in an indeterminate period of their exile, between september 2014 and september 2015. Maëlle Grand Bossi met them : in Siteler, a zoning of Ankara suburban, living in neighborhoods to be demolished ; in Oncupinar refugee camp, in Kilis (on the syrian border), where they live a precarious life in immobility and under the close supervision of the Turkish authorities ; then in the Arin Mikram Kurdish refugees camp, in Suruç, pending a return to Kobanî; and finally in Kobanî, Syria, where they return leads to their destroyed homes… Behind each photograph, there was first en encounter. And the will to restore the dignity of exiled syrian children abused by war, exile, and prejudices of all kinds.