Jordan’s forgotten refugees: Documentally’s project

This week is the 5 year anniversary of Iraq War II and there are so many stories of suffering still going on it is sometimes difficult not to feel removed from them all.

Christian Payne, or Documentally as he is better known on Twitter and Seesmic, has just published a really moving photographic/don’t really know what you might call it, account of the plight of thousands of Iraqi refugees who are living in limbo in Jordan.

He was asked by the UNHCR to document their lives through his great photographic work and he teamed up with Emmy Award winning editor Bill Cammack, through the power of social media, to create a really compelling visual story. Now he is encouraging people to shine a light on these forgotten people through social media.

What is amazing to me is how much we take for granted “who” refugees are. These are people who were vets, accountants, shop keepers, who now have nothing to speak of and can’t seem to move back or forwards. What is also great about this is to see the power of photography being used in an innovative way creating a far bigger impact imho than video would have. It suits the topic and the sentiment of the stories so well.

Check it out, share it and join the conversation here.

3 responses to “Jordan’s forgotten refugees: Documentally’s project

  1. I tweeted it too, but just in case you don’t see. The embed code you need is

    [ ?posts_id=745416&dest=-1]

  2. Hey Kitten Fluff. 😀

    Thanks for the mention. 🙂

    As far as the project itself, you would really need to see it in HD, which is what the original is done in (1280x720x24p), in order to understand what *I* was looking at while deciding on the edit. The images are really rich and especially intimate. They have this depth to them that really gives you the feeling of being…. there. It’s as if YOU took the picture yourself, when you happened to be standing in someone’s living room, in another country, in another part of the world.

    Also, Christian’s narration was heartfelt, on-point and “official”. Between the audio and the images, I had lots of great content to choose from, which made for an immersive editing environment where I could live in it and *feel* the flow of what would eventually become the final product.

    Interestingly enough, what amazed you was the same thing that stood out to me as I listened to the narration. People show images of people in poor or even homeless situations all the time. It’s usually assumed or directly indicated that the subjects of the film are just plain unfortunate… Born into poor families… Lost their minds, somehow… Never were educated… So I viewed the pictures before I listened to the narration so I could mentally select images while Christian was speaking. When he got to the parts about what they did BEFORE becoming refugees, it was like WOAH! :O My vision of the scenario swirled all of a sudden… as I was now observing a deeper level of ‘unfortunate’.

    Some are born to move the world
    To live their fantasies
    But most of us just dream about
    The things we’d like to be
    Sadder still to watch it die
    Than never to have known it
    For you, the blind who once could see
    The bell tolls for thee…

    ~ Rush “Losing It”

  3. Hi Bill! you are too right – amazing to see the result of pure passion and compassion.

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