The photos are drawn from three workshops which took place in Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, in a community center in Zahle, Lebanon and finally in Mafraq, Jordan between August 2014 and May 2015. Forty-eight students participated in four different workshops. We met six days a week for two weeks in a full immersion setting. Eight hours of class time was followed by assignment work that kept the students photographing into the evening and sometimes early in the morning before class.
The students were Syrian refugees between the ages of 10 and 20 years old. Many were from Homs, others from the areas around Damascus and many more came from Daraa. They had normal lives before the war in Syria. They dreamed of becoming teachers, journalists, civil engineers, scientists, doctors, pharmacists, artists and architects. For most of these young people, those dreams were interrupted. The schools in the refugee camps are full and have limited resources. Students, if they were able to study, could only attend school for half a day.
A few students have been able to resettle in Europe and Canada, another went from Lebanon to Turkey where she is enrolled in school full time. Most are still in the refugee camps.
These pictures reveal who these young people are through their own eyes and words.
– Brendan Bannon
Click here to view a short film about the program.