The catastrophe is reality to more than 70* million (!) people. Over half of them are children under 18 years. Refugees all over the world are still forced to leave their homes, loose their social environment, stop simple daily routines for the sake of their safety.

Having no other possibility means you have to deal with what you get, even if it’s an improvised camp, missing basic goods like food, water, hygiene kits or health aid. Imagine you find yourself among thousands of people from completely different countries and cultures after suffering from terror and death. Everything is foreign and frightening. There’s not enough space for all of you, but too much dirt and misery. Your new “home” might not even be save or feel like a comfortable place to grow up in.  If you are lucky enough, your basic needs are covered. And now comes the important part.

What makes us human?

Our minds, which need to be feed as well. For a regular person, growing up in the eastern world, there’s a huge range of things to fuel your brain with: music, movies, art in all shades. When there’s nothing to keep your mind occupied with, you can easily get lost in your environment and are hardly distinguishable from other creatures on this planet.

Kids in their “natural” environment, the refugee camp Za’atari, 2014.

You cannot imagine what every single person of the people in these refugee camps went through and is still experiencing. Working on different projects in Jordan, Bethlehem, Gaza (see photo series Eyes of Gaza’) and Potsdam (Germany) had a huge impact on me. You can easily get the feeling that humanity is a value our world is lacking of. Meeting the people in these camps, talking to them, learning about their stories and just observing how they arrange themselves with their new lives was an incredible touching time.

Workshops for artistic output with the children living in the camp Za'atari, 2014.

During my time in different refugee camps I also took photos with the kids hanging upside down, as a philosophical resemblance of the psychological state these children of war are in – an unhealthy position which should only endured for a short amount of time, but not for long. All these kids have individual stories, but they are commonly affected, which makes them all a part of the series UPSIDE DOWN‘.




*including internally displaced persons in their own country and asylum seekers, Source: UNHCR Report 2018