Part of our shared human experience is an innate desire to attach personal meaning to physical objects: it is something we do from the moment we are born.
Physical objects hold memories, emotions, aspirations: they form links to people who are no longer with us, and they keep us connected to versions of ourselves that were lost or forever changed - sometimes through growth or the passage of time, sometimes by a traumatic event, such as a terrorist attack.
The Memories campaign shares the intimate memories of the victims of terrorism featured in it, as well as the personal meaning tied to physical objects they hold dear. Through film and photography, it highlights these stories belonging to the eight portrayed victims of terrorism. Through these objects, the owners have shared their memories and emotions, in a simple but powerful way for audiences to relate to them, to feel their loss and to better understand the importance of remembering and paying tribute to victims of terrorism.
Ultimately, the stories aim to raise a collective consciousness and to create awareness about the importance of preventing terrorist attacks and the ensuing emergence of new victims. The campaign’s “humanization” of victims of terrorism strives to change society’s mindset, behavior, and attitude towards victims.
Ashraf Al-Khaled and his wife survived a series of bomb attacks at the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman, Jordan on their wedding day in November 2005.
Twenty-seven people died as a result of the bombings, including Ashraf's father, who passed away whilst holding his rosary. Ashraf has kept the rosary in memory of his father and it reminds him to speak out and tell his story. It is his way of healing and helping others.
Falmata Bunu was held in brutal captivity for months by Boko Haram after they raided her village in northern Nigeria in 2015.
Now that Falmata is free, chatting with people, particularly through her phone, makes her happy. Falmata uses her phone to feel like part of a community. It helps her forget what happened to her, breaks her feelings of isolation and enables her to be closer to people.
Janne Palthe is a survivor of the London Underground bombings in July 2005.
She keeps her train ticket from 7 July 2008 - the date of the 3rd anniversary of the bombings. The ticket symoblizes her ability to move forward and to be connected with her community of bereaved victims and survivors.
Nigeel Namai was 4 months old when his father was killed in the 1998 attack on the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.
Whenever Nigeel wears a suit, it brings up memories and stories of his father, who was always smartly dressed. He hopes that by wearing a suit his father would be proud of the person he has become.
Sandra Lescano is an Ecuadorian survivor of the train bombings in Madrid, Spain in March 2004.
At the time, her daughter was only one year old. The determinaton to stay alive for her daughter gave Sandra the strength to recover and to keep moving forward. Her daughter continues to provide Sandra with support to overcome life's challenges. By keeping a photo of her daughter on her, she is constantly reminded about the love that surrounds her.
Shannon Silvestri is a survivor of the April 2013 Boston Marathon attack in the United States.
She was there with her two children and friends to watch her husband compete in the race. After overcoming her injuries, Shannon decided to fundraise in honor of victims and to support survivors of the attack by designing a medal-shaped pin.
Sudirman Talib is a survivor of the September 2004 attack on the Australian Embassy in Indonesia.
He suffered extensive injuries and trauma from the attack but chose to keep a magazine that features pictures of the attack close to him. The magazine not only helps him tell his story to his family, but reminds him of why he speaks out, and the importance of being heard.
Viljar Hanssen is a survivor of the July 2011 attack at the Utøya summer camp in Norway.
Viljar was severely injured during the attack and faced a long road to recovery. He always carries a picture of himself with two friends who died in the attack as a source of inspiration. The photo reminds him of the youthful energy and optimism they had, and the importance of keeping that spirit alive and knowing that the world continues to be filled with opportunities.