Photographs by Syrian Refugee Youth in Lebanon and Jordan 2014-15. As war ravaged Syria, hundreds of thousands of children fled to refugee camps and informal settlements in neighboring countries. UNHCR partnered with photographer Brendan Bannon to offer a series of workshops for some of these children to share their stories through photography and text. The results have been featured in newspapers, magazines and exhibitions worldwide. Now 6 years later these refugees share images of their lives today.

These brave and personal pictures illustrate war and its consequences as they are experienced by refugee children and youth. Through their photography we see a fragment of what they have seen. They tell us of lives unmade by war and remade with courage, determination, curiosity and compassion. They show us that these are the tools of survival, these are the tools they find to navigate the tragic and traumatic disruption of life.

“The premise is simple. Young people are experts in their own lives. They have the ability to perceive and express the complexity of their experiences. Their voices are necessary and should be heard. This work shows young people facing overwhelming challenges. Yet, amidst the trauma that they experience, there is resilience, optimism, and decency. This can be surprising to people who only expect to see tragedy,” said Bannon.

The project is designed with a series of impacts in mind. Updated 2020 photographs from this initial project are now included in this exhibit. Children had an opportunity to create and connect with peers through photography, especially with classmates and their families. At the end of the project an exhibition was held in the camps and later in the capital cities of the host countries.