The photo exhibition “Exile Voices: Camp Reporters” documents the daily reality of forced displacement through the eyes of Syrian child photographers (ages 11-15) from Kawergosk Refugee Camp near Erbil. It is part of the initiative of Reza Visual Academy to empower youth living in vulnerable situations by training them to tell their stories and to express their hopes. Since Dec 2013, the renowned photojournalist Reza Deghati has trained over 60 children from camps in Iraqi Kurdistan to be camp reporters.
With LADP support, 40 photographs by camp reporters were brought to the attention of the local and regional authorities in Iraq – as first-hand evidence of the living conditions of refugees, especially children. The exhibition provides an innovative approach to needs assessment and inclusion of vulnerable groups in the development planning processes.
- The inclusion of vulnerable groups in local planning is integral to the CBSP To raise the voice of refugees and IDPs to be considered in the formulation of resilient processes for post-ISIS recovery, “Exile Voices” was displayed at the LADP inception workshops for development of PRP (25-29 Sept 2016, Erbil). The visual testimonies were brought to the attention of members of Provincial Steering Committees and Technical Groups in Anbar, Diyala, Kirkuk, Nineveh and Salah al-Din, the Deputy Minister of Planning and representatives of the Ministry of Planning.
- “Exile Voices” and young photographers from Reza Visual Academy also took part in the official launch of Dohuk PDS (28-29 May 2016, Dohuk) and EU Day celebrations (09 May 2017, Erbil) – to demonstrate and inspire commitment to an inclusive development process.
- With LADP support, “Exile Voices” also took place at the European Commission in Brussels (25 Nov 2016), under the patronage of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Ms Mogherini. The exhibition opened with speeches by Ms Mogherini and Mr It served to raise awareness about the EU-UNDP partnership in Iraq and the ongoing humanitarian and development challenges in Iraq. To multiply the impact, a video on the event was produced and published on the official UNDP-Iraq YouTube channel.