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We Asked Refugees to Document Their Everyday Lives with Disposable Cameras

A unique insight into the lives of those seeking refuge in Berlin.

by Halea Isabelle Kala and Francis Flurin
07 October 2015, 1:05pm


Photo by Saleh

This article was originally published on VICE Germany

In February 2015 we gave six disposable cameras to six refugees living in Berlin. Each was asked to document their daily life in 27 photos. We called this project Augen-Blick, which in German means Blink of an Eye.

The project was inspired by our belief that, now more than ever, it is crucial to stop concentrating on the things that separate us and instead focus on the things that bring us together. Even though the European refugee crisis has been a hot topic for some time now, it didn't really hit home for the two of us until we started working on this series. We hope that it will also give you an insight into the everyday lives of these people.

You can see more work by Halea and Francis here.


Naheed Mirzad, 26, from Afghanistan

Naheed was the only female who took part in our project, as most of the other women we talked to were rather reserved. Naheed has been living in Berlin for almost a year now and used to take lots of photographs back home.

Saleh, from Syria

Unfortunately, we never learned Saleh's last name. He was transferred elsewhere after the dissolution of the refugee camp where we met him.

Huseynaga Gasanov, 15, from Azerbaijan

Huseynaga came to Berlin with his family when he was 11. Soon after, he started an internship in a theater and began drawing caricatures. We had to give him a second camera, because the first one was stolen from his refugee camp.

Sayed Omruddin Hussaini, 20, from Afghanistan

This was Sayed's first time holding a camera, so he got his girlfriend to help him. They met in Berlin.

Siwan Suliman, 20, from Syria

He's lived in Berlin for nine months and works in an off-license. A lot of his pictures are green because Berlin's parks remind him of his hometown.

Zymer Zeqiri, 15, from Kosovo

After a short stay in the refugee reception camp in Berlin's Freie Universität, Zymer and his family were deported because authorities decided they had come to Europe for financial reasons.