As you may know, I am participating in the Student Blogging Challenge as a school commitment. This week, the task was to complete a post for Blog Action Day, with the 2015 theme being ‘Raise Your Voice’. I have decided to write not about an issue, but ways in which one can “raise their voice” – one in particular that one man who has used this to portray the issue of refugees.
In many countries, freedom of expression is an inalienable concept that is considered a human right, simply because of democracy. One’s opinions and ideas can be expressed in many ways, one of which is through photography. Photography is a broad area that can be used to portray and express nearly anything that the photographer feels, or wants to portray. Through colour, texture, light, perspective and emotion, photography has been used for many things, one in particular being the pressing issue of refugees.
Shawn Baldwin, an American photojournalist, photographer and traveller has lived in Baghdad for over three years. He has worked throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe, documenting photography and stories from extreme poverty in the slums of Mumbai, to the portrayal of the growing influence of Islam across the Middle East.
With much courage and determination to live in a country that is considered so dangerous, through his photography, Shawn captures and portrays the poignancy of living conditions in Syrian refugee camps and detention centres. From vibrant, hopeful colours; monochromatic facial expressions; dusty camp tents to rioting refugees; tragic landscapes; heart touching captions – Shawn Baldwin has truly captured the experience and environment the refugees of Syria endure.
He has subtly portrays the political, religious and rebellious changes in this society – such as an image of a young, veiled woman sitting leg to leg with other Muslim boys, a sight which would be unthinkable in other Muslim countries.
Exposed to many horrifying sights, the photojournalist uses his photoblog to express himself and “raise his voice” on the issues of refugees, revolutions, war and tragedy in the Middle East. I think this is a beautiful and poignant way in which to express oneself and the true environment of the Syrian war and other war-torn places in the Middle East.
Please do visit his photography website, but at your own discretion, as some confronting and gruesome images do appear on the site. http://www.shawnbaldwin.com/#!/index