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‘Something magical happens’: the cameras helping refugee children to heal- The Guardian

We talk to the person behind an extraordinary project in Turkey, where children, most of them refugees, have been given old analogue cameras and taught the art of photography

by Sean O’Hagan


Sun 19 Sep 2021 10.00 BST

Serbest Salih studied photography at college in Aleppo, before fleeing Syria with his family in 2014 as Islamic State fighters advanced on his home town of Kobani. He is now one of an estimated 100,000 refugees living in the historic city of Mardin in south-eastern Turkey, just a few miles from the Syrian border. Having initially found work as a photographer for a German NGO, Salih’s life changed dramatically in 2017 when, while wandering with a friend through the city, he discovered a sprawling refugee community living in a group of abandoned government buildings in the working-class Kurdish district of Istayson. “It was a place where Turkish Kurds and Syrian Kurds lived as neighbours, but did not communicate,” he says, “They were strangers who spoke the same language. It was at that moment that I thought to use analogue photography as a means to integrate the different communities.”




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