Tuesday, 15 November 2016

REFUGEE STREET STUDIO PROJECT, BY ALEXIA WEBSTER

19:07 - By ART FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 0



The ‘Refugee Street Studio’ project involves creating photographic portrait studios on the streets of refugee and IDP camps around the world. We invite anyone to come have their family and individual portraits taken. The portraits are then printed on site for free with a portable photo printer for people to take home for their family album.
In March 2014 I began the first ‘Refugee Street Studio’ in the Bulengo IDP camp just outside of the city of Goma in the D.R. Congo. The camp has over 50 000 residents who have fled fighting and violence in the north eastern regions of the country.

Refugee camps are spaces of uncertainty and transience. Many people arrive in the camps, deeply traumatized, having lost not only their homes but also most of their possessions, including family photographs, when they escaped the violence. Exiled from ones home, facing an uncertain future and a lost past, a family photo can be a powerful and precious object which can help support a sense of connectedness and belonging. Over 700 people took part in the Bulengo Studios and received their own printed photograph to take way with them. Many arrived dressed up for the occasion with their children or loved ones and patiently waited for their portraits.

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