Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Syrian Refugee + Fabric, Zahle, Lebanon, 2017

The men driving me to the camps have been amazed by the beauty within them, especially this young girl living just fifteen or so minutes from my grandparents' home. The men have lived in this town since birth and have driven past the camps on countless occasions. Yet they had never stopped for a minute to interact with the populations within, had never seen such beauty.

Most are offended by the intense smell, or by the mere presence of the refugees within their country. In so many ways such a presence has put a strain on the country, with the economy in distress and the already fragile security more strained.

However for me these camps are the birth of my photography, for me the children within them are as beautiful, as strong and as vibrant as any encountered in my travels. They are the flowers amidst the chaos, they are the inspiration behind my work.

This young girl's smile erases the difficulty in achieving her portrait. While men look on at times in disapproval, she stands her ground and speaks her mind through her portrait. She refuses to be silenced, refuses to be ignored. If this portrait can communicate such to the viewers, then it has done justice to her spirit.

Note: This image was made with a Hasselblad 555 ELD/180 mm combination onto Ilford Delta 100 film.

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