flagship Project 007: KHANKE

ABOUT THE PROJECT

During spring of 2019, 100cameras joined in the work of an IDP camp located in Khanke Village, Kurdistan, in Iraq. The kids we worked alongside are displaced Yazidi youth who fled the Islamic State fighters invaded and destroyed their home in Sinjar in 2014, forcing them to make a treacherous and life-fearing, weeks-long escape to safety -- with thousands not surviving or being captured and forced into slavery.

With the reality that they have now been displaced and living in tents in an IDP camp through heat and snow for over 5 years and may never be able to return to their home due to the mass destruction or even the trauma of such a return, our method utilizes photography as a powerful tool for self-expression, processing, and feeling ownership in the stories of their individual lives and those of their communities. Our approach intentionally leaves the boundaries open and clear because it is their right to feel and share.

 
It’s important to help them communicate, to overcome what they have been going through. And just listen to each other and help them go off of their problems, not just cover it...that’s a real impact, that you can share your feelings and even your words — put it in one picture. That’s the impact that I think is going to be changing these kids.

The impact is also for the community. This program is helping kids. You’re teaching them a skill. How to be a photographer and also express yourself at the same time.I think that will stuck in their minds. They will never forget that. The impact personally that will help them to overcome the trauma. Each one of them was very excited to learn, and just helping them learn that there is a hope… respecting them, treat them actually as kids, that’s enough. They will remember that.
— Samer Raad, Iraqi Activist + Community Center Coordinator in Khanke
 

The concepts of interpreting and processing emotions are introduced slowly throughout the curriculum, and each activity builds upon the prior. In the beginning of Flagship Khanke, the practice of expressing emotions outwardly was not translating metaphorically at first. However by the end of the course, students began capturing visual examples of emotions as it related to their story — such as taking a photo of a boy standing alone on a rock represented feeling alone, or sad, or waiting for their father, or quiet. Or a photo of a lone flower blooming in a field meant to one student that there was hope while another student saw it more as a representation of survival and strength.

See how these incredible kids processed their experiences in a way that uplifts their voices and perspectives. See here how they have chosen to be represented; feel how they have expressed themselves to be heard.

100% of proceeds from the student photo sales will fund lifeline supplies for the IDP camp where they reside.

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STUDENT GALLERY

 
 

100CAMERAS X INSIDE OUT

We teamed up again with the Inside Out Project team to combine community, art, and our curriculum. Through their unique platform, our students were able to see their narratives displayed in the form of life-size posters pasted on a community activity center in the heart of Khanke Village. Ultimately creating a presence that lifted up the voices and perspectives through the power of representation. The installation speaks to the heart and perseverance of the Yazidi community!