Wednesday, 13 June 2018

A Handful of Dust

There are pictures of the migration crisis we rarely get to see – pictures of the lives of the millions of Syrians who now live in Turkey. Documentary photographer Nish Nalbandian met very poor and also very wealthy (who managed to move their factories to Turkey) Syrians, some in the countryside, some in cities. His specific goal, he writes, „is to try to get you to see yourself in these pictures. Because these people lived lives in Syria not too different from your own. Try to imagine what your life would be like if a sudden war or disaster had you fleeing your home to a different country with nothing but a suitcase and some documents.“

It goes without saying that it is almost impossible to envisage such a situation for oneself. Yet this is also what most Syrians very probably had thought. Photographs to be understood must be felt. Photographs in combination with the stories behind the pictures stand a good chance to make us feel empathy.

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