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Vice Fashion - Refugees

All photographs shot at ‘Ground Zero’- a secret refuge for young asylum seekers in West London.
Κείμενο Sophia Evans


Sophia Evans


Nasrin Jean-Baptiste



Jamie-James Medina

All photographs shot at ‘Ground Zero’ —a secret refuge for young asylum seekers in West London.

Viktor, 16, Ivory Coast

“I had to get out of there to save my life. I came here by plane and I had never travelled by plane before, so I was scared the plane would crash. There is no way to describe how I was feeling at the time, I was just scared and confused. War is the most sad thing. I’m looking forward instead of looking in the past. When your country is at war, there is nothing you can do, you have no control.”


Gardiah, 15, Liberia

“I came to London six months ago. I could not stay in my country because there was a war. I came here with a friend of my uncle, who brought me by plane. The plane stopped in Gambia for a while, then came here. I did not know anything about England, but I was not scared. You don’t see violence here, everybody cares about each other. I miss my family. I like to learn, so England is fine for me.”

Sendj: red jacket by All Saints, yellow stripe top by All Saints, jeans by Criminal, trainers by Vans. Sulaiman: sweater by Adidas, jeans by Bigstar, trainers by Vans

Soria, 18, Eritrea

"My dad had already left home when my mother was taken in the middle of the night. One of my mum’s close friends said it wasn’t safe for me to stay in Eritrea because my mum and dad wasn’t there. There was no problem, I just came here. I’m used to it now, so it’s cool. We came on the plane and they bring us to places like this where we stay until they decide if we can have a passport or not. It’s like the lottery, if you win, you win. If you don’t, you don’t."

Jeans model’s own, jumper by Zakee Shariff, belt by Bigstar

Habib, 18, Afghanistan

"My family arranged it for me to travel to England with an agent who is experienced in travelling with young people to new countries, so, unlike a lot of my friends at the refuge, the experience really wasn’t as bad as it could have been. At least I had company. The whole journey from Afghanistan to London took three days because we had to go via Kazakhstan. Even though my parents are still back home, I’m quite happy to be in London now."


Stripe shirt by Burro, pink T-shirt by Supreme Being, jeans by Bigstar

Timnit, 19, Eritrea

"I don’t know where my family are. I wasn’t planning to come to England, I wanted to go the US with my uncle, but I didn’t have a choice because we had to leave or risk being killed. I was so scared on the plane. The people are nice here. I used to listen to UB40, but now I like hip hop. School is okay, but totally different. In my country they never answer back to the teacher."

Green dress worn as top by Sands, denim skirt by G.Star

Fuulaman, 18, Guinea

"I had to come to England because my country was fighting. I don’t know where my parents are. They looked after cows. I came by plane. My uncle arranged it. It was a surprise to me. We walked for four days from my village to the city. My brother came and took a picture of me for my passport and then we took a car for four days to Mali. Then to the airport. It was my first time in an airplane. Someone showed me how to work the belt. I was so confused. When the airplane took off, oh my god. I wanted to come back I was so scared. In my belly (it felt like) someone cut me. I closed my eyes and all I wanted to think about was my dad. They brought food, but I didn’t eat, because all we ate in our village was rice. I was so tired. When we reached Heathrow, everyone was getting out. The pilot woke me up. I was scared. I’d never seen so many white people before, only on TV. They called one lady and I gave her my passport. She said, ‘Where are you going?’ I said, ‘I don’t know’."

Jacket by CP Company, jeans by Criminal, trainers by Medium