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Faces Of The Global Refugee Crisis

There are 60 million displaced people scattered across the globe, and they each have a story

Faces Of The Global Refugee Crisis

According to the UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, the global population of displaced people has reached 60 million. Refugees from Africa, Arab states along the Persian Gulf, the Caucasus and more are coming in droves to Western Europe, the United States and Canada, and many are taking perilous journeys to reach those countries.

This massive shift of people has created a humanitarian crisis that touches the whole world. Imagine the entire population of Italy, for example, suddenly with nowhere to go and forced to knock on doors all across the globe to find asylum. While the scope of a migration that size is obviously huge, it’s can be hard to grasp the reality at an intimate level—to empathize with the individuals in a crowd of 60 million.


So in an effort to put a human face to such widespread displacement, the Annenberg Space for Photography is staging a show called REFUGEE, featuring works from five photographers who were sent out specifically to capture images for this exhibition. Below are selected compositions from REFUGEE that show a diverse cross section of displaced people living everywhere from Cameroon to Colombia to Berlin. Some have reached their final destinations. Others are still on their long journeys. But all of them have had to leave their homes behind.

Say Tha Mar Gyi, Myanmar, 2015

A.* cooks in her family home in Say Tha Mar Gyi Camp. She is married, but her husband left her within the last year to return to his family. ©Lynsey Addario (*Name withheld for protection)

Mbile refugee site, Cameroon, 2015

Young Ibrahima has spent his entire life in Mbile. When his mother, Hawa, fled the Central African Republic, she had to make the long, difficult journey while pregnant. They still have no news of his father’s whereabouts. Hawa hopes that Ibrahima will get an education and look after her in her old age. ©Omar Victor Diop

Buenaventura, Colombia, 2015

Children in Puente Nayero play an improvised game of table football. The success of the Puente Nayero Humanitarian Space has encouraged residents on the neighboring street of Punta Icaco to begin organizing to create their own humanitarian space. ©Graciela Iturbide

New York, New York, 2016

New Americans: Portraits of refugees who have recently resettled in the United States as part of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. From left to right: Bhimal, 42, Bhutan; Maryna, 27, Belarus; Patricia, 22, Democratic Republic of the Congo. ©Martin Schoeller

Reichstag Building, Berlin, Germany, 2015

Briali Muhaghgh, his wife Hanifa and their children attempted the difficult sea crossing from Turkey to Lesbos in two boats, but Hanifa’s craft ran into trouble. Briali and his eight-year-old daughter, Roya, landed on Lesbos convinced that Hanifa and the other three children had died. Still, Briali and Roya pressed on. After learning that the others were alive, Briali paid the smugglers again and reunited the family in Berlin. ©Tom Stoddart

Lesbos, Greece, 2015

A father celebrates his family's safe passage to Lesbos after a stormy crossing over the Aegean Sea from Turkey. ©Tom Stoddart

Near Berkasovo, Serbia, 2015

A mother carries her daughter across the border between Serbia and Croatia. ©Tom Stoddart

Slovenia, 2015

After arriving by train at Središče ob Dravi, Slovenia, a mother and baby wait for buses provided by the Slovenian authorities to take them further along their journey towards Western Europe. ©Tom Stoddart

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