Politics aside, Magnus Wennman is making a huge statement without even saying a word.
Wennman, a Swedish news photographer, is attempting to humanize the nearly 4 million refugees who have fled the war in Syria by photographing powerful images of the children and telling their individual stories. In his photo series "Where the Children Sleep," Wennman captures haunting shots of children during their journeys along the Serbian-Hungarian border, in a refugee camp, and in a hospital. He captions each devastating shot with their specific plight. These heart-wrenching photos give faces to what is often expressed in the news as an elusive number.
Nearly half of the Syrian refugees are kids who have been suffering through war since 2011 as they flee across the Middle East and Europe. According to Wennman, these are their stories.
A young Syrian boy holds his mothers hand after crossing the border from Serbia to Hungary. Most refugees don't know what will happen to them after arriving. Me and @wiman1 got a lot of questions today when we were walking near the border. Will they be fingerprinted? Will they be sent back? Can they travel to the next destination? #icare #refugees #serbia #hungary #syria #war #young #boy #holdinghands @aftonbladetnyheter
Haneen celebrated her second birthday yesterday. She is one of many refugees following the railway track from the village of Horgos in Serbia into Hungary and the EU . They have traveled for weeks and spent a lot of money to be smuggled into Europe. Many aim to reach Germany or Sweden without being registered in another EU country. #refugees #birthday #syria #horgos #serbia #hungary #germany #sweden #photojournalism #smuggle #eu #icare
Shiar, 10 was crossing the border near Cobane. It was the middle of the night and he touched something on the ground. It was an IED. He only has three fingers left and his entire body is scarred for life. On Wednesday we start our series about #childrenofsyria in @aftonbladetnyheter So many strong stories to tell. #syria #turkey #sanliurfa #cobane #work #photojournalism #scarred
Ralia, 7, and Rahaf, 13, lives on the street in Beirut. They come from Damascus, where a grenade killed their mother and brother. Together with their father, they have slept on the sidewalk for a year. They are always close to each other. Rahaf says she is afraid of "bad boys". When she says it Ralia starts to cry. Tomorrow you can se/read more about where the Syrian refugee children sleep when we start our series #jagbryrmig in @aftonbladetnyheter #syria #beirut #refugees #childrenofsyria #syrien #homeless #photojournalism #work
Moyad, 5, and his mother wanted to bake a pie. Hand in hand they went to the market in Daraa to by some flour. They walked by a taxi, where someone had placed a bomb. Moyads mother died immediately. The boy, flown to Jordan, has shrapnel in his head, his back and his pelvis. Tomorrow you can se/read more about where the Syrian refugee children sleep when we start our series #jagbryrmig in @aftonbladetnyheter #syria #amman #jordan #war #refugees #childrenofsyria #syrien #homeless #photojournalism #work
Fara, 2, loves football. Her father tries to make footballs of all the material he could find. Every night when he says good night to Fara, and her older sister Tisam, 9, he hopes that they will wake up to a new day when they will get a real football to play with. All other dreams feels unattainable for him. Tomorrow you can se/read more about where the Syrian refugee children sleep when we start our series #jagbryrmig in @aftonbladetnyheter #syria #amman #jordan #war #refugees #childrenofsyria #syrien #homeless #photojournalism #work
Mohammed, 13, loves houses. Back home, in Aleppo, he used to enjoy walking around the city looking at them. Now, many of his favourite buildings are gone, blown to pieces. Lying in his hospital bed, he wonders whether he will ever fulfill his dream of becoming an architect. "The strangest thing about war is that you get used to feeling scared. I wouldn't have believed that," says Mohammed. // link to full article in my bio.
There's a difference between closing your eyes and sleeping, as six-year-old Gulistan knows. She prefers to shut her eyes and just pretend, because every time she really falls asleep, the nightmares start. "I don't want to sleep here. I want to sleep at home," she says. She misses the pillow she had in Kobane. Sometimes she lies against her mother and uses her as a pillow. // link to full article in my bio
Walaa, 5, wants to go home. She had her own room in Aleppo, she tells us. There, she never used to cry at bedtime. Here, in the refugee camp, she cries every night. Resting her head on the pillow is horrible, she says, because nighttime is horrible. That was when the attacks happened. By day, Walaa's mother often builds a little house out of pillows, to teach her that they are nothing to be afraid of. // link to full article in my bio
Shiraz, 9, was three months old when she was stricken with a severe fever. The doctor diagnosed polio and advised her parents to not spend too much money on medicine for the girl who "didn't have a chance." Then the war came. Her mother, Leila, starts crying when she describes how she wrapped the girl in a blanket and carried her over the border from Kobane to Turkey. Shiraz, who can't talk, received a wooden cradle in the refugee camp. She lies there. Day and night. Link to the full story in my bio! #jagbryrmig #icare #syria #kobane #suruc #turkey #refugee #polio #photojournalism
Fatima is nine years old and lives in a rental apartment in Norberg, Sweden with her mother Malachi and two brothers. Fatima is from Idlib in Syria. At night she dreams that she falls of a boat in the middle of the ocean. The same boat that smuggled them from Libya to the Italian coast a while ago. #syria #refugee #nightmare #dream #photojournalism #work #canon #fatima
Radwan and his seven months old baby Muhammed hiding on the Serbian fields in the light of the moon. They will try to cross the border to Hungary illegally. They have to force the barb wire and hundreds of Hungarian policemen. One small step on their journey to reach Germany. #icare #syria #hungary #serbia #refugees #war #photojournalism #work @aftonbladetnyheter
Today, you will find my story "Where the children sleep" on aftonbladet.se. Link is in my bio. And on Thursday my exhibition (with the same name) will open at @fotografiska. Sham 1 year old Roszke/Horgos. In the very front, just alongside the border between Serbia and Hungary by the 4-meter-high iron gate, Sham is laying in his mother's arms. Just a few decimeters behind them is the Europe they so desperately are trying to reach. Only one day before, the last refugees were allowed through and taken by train to Austria. But Sham and his mother arrived too late, along with thousands of other refugees who now wait outside the closed Hungarian border.