Refugees on Samos island tell their stories through photographs

'Through Our Eyes' depicts the shocking reality of asylum seekers' daily lives in the ‘hotspot’

‘Through Our Eyes’ is a groundbreaking photography project showcasing the day-to-day of young asylum seekers kept in the ‘hotspot’ camp on Samos Island, Greece.

All the photos have actually been taken by the refugees themselves as part of the Mazi Youth Centre’s projects.

Mazi (together in Greek), which is supported by the NGO Still I Rise, is the only option for education for them. The youth centre was founded in 2018 by Nicolò Govoni, Giulia Cicoli and Sarah Ruzek, with an aim to provide informal education and psychosocial support to children aged 12 to 17 in the camp.

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The photography class, run by Novara, has seven subjects that include history of photography, portrait, movement, using light(s), black and white, street photography and editing.

Upon completing the workshop, students were given a disposable Kodak camera to capture and caption moments of their daily lives.

Many takes are shocking yet other photographs depict glimmers of hope.

See some of the images as featured in the exhibition below:

“How people build their house in the jungle.” — Mahdi, 15 years old
Barbed wire is horrible but its geometry is fascinating” — Mahdi, 15 years old
“Rubbish is one of the most important problem of the camp” — Omid, 15 years old
“The people of the camp think that the cats eat the rats, but the cats are afraid of the rats because they are so big!” — Zeynab, 17 years old
“I put this light here to make my container more beautiful” — Zeynab, 17 years old
“Toilets, no good” — Mahdi, 15 years old
“I remember that day because my ausweis was open and we were at the beach to celebrate” — Samaneh, 16 years old
“Women in Iran can’t drive scooters and I like that here we can” — Samaneh, 16 years old
“I don’t like the food of the camp, it tastes so bad” — Mahdi, 12 years old

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