The war in Syria is a very up-to-date issue for more than five years now. Nevertheless people don’t really look at it and many people, primarily those in the Western world, aren’t aware of the extent of this tragedy. A man who wants to change this is Szymon Barylski.
His photos show starvation, exhaustion, suffering and despair. For his projects he travels where people who have lost almost everything are forced to remain. One of such places is the refugee camp at Idomeni by the Greek-Macedonian border. With his camera he takes a closer look than most other people would, zooming at what is often being dismissed as “the refugee problem” and showing the persons behind the word “refugee”. People who have experienced incredible pain but who have survived and who are still fighting for their survival. They are thousands and they all have one aim: safety. Safety for most of these people means reaching one of the countries in Europe they wish to go to because where they come from war won’t end for a long time and the thought of returning soon seems hopeless.
Szymon Barylski got in touch with the topic “refugee crisis” for the first time as most of us did: by watching the news. Then he realized that this war and all the suffering are something concerning the whole world. Contrary to most people, however, he decided to become active and traveled on-site to change something with his photos and primarily to tell the stories of these suffering people, to give them back their humanity and not only portray them as the “wave of refugees”. Szymon’s aim is to point out social, economic and political grievances in his pictures, hoping that the people seeing his photos will join in fighting these grievances.
His project “Fleeing death” is not the first one that made him get in touch with pain, death and poverty. He also traveled to Inquitos-Belen, one of the poorest regions in Peru. There thousands of people live in an area that is flooded and can’t be inhabited half of the year. Enormous misery, diseases and crime dominate the lives of the residents. There aren’t many reports on their existence and suffering, either, and so this reality is unknown to a large part of the world.
You can read more about his projects and see his photos on the photographer’s website.
Photo credit: Szymon Barylski