February 27, 2017

Faces of Refugees

In 2012, Justin Clifton and I spent four weeks in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Northern Kenya working with FilmAid. Kakuma has a population of 175,000 people, relatively small by refugee camp standards. The refugees at Kakuma have fled their homes because of civil war, religious persecution, genocide or a myriad of other reasons. The camp is currently home to refugees from over 20 countries, seven of which President Trump is trying ban from travel to the U.S.

If you've ever spent time with refugees, you've seen a deep well of hope. It’s a different kind of hope than I've ever known. For those of us who aren't refugees, hope is easy because our lives don't depend on it. Refugees hope far more deeply. Hope is all they have because they've lost everything else. And if they lose hope, they have nothing else to live for. When President Trump issued his executive order, many refugees lost that hope.

In a series titled "Faces of Refugees," I've been posting photos as my profile photo from my time in Kakuma on my Facebook page. These are the faces of refugees, of Muslims, of children from the war-torn countries of Iran, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Sudan and Yemen. These are the faces of children forced to flee because of war, and these are the faces of children the president wants to bar from our country.

Stash Wislocki, Moutainfilm festival producer

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