Looking Toward Home
Azerbaijan still has one of the highest numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) per capita in the world. When I was there on behalf of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) the country was struggling to house all who fled their homes due to conflict with Armenia. People were living in horrible conditions; abandoned box cars, farm wagons, squalid torn tents. Children were growing up as refugees within their own country. I made these photographs to advocate for them and help policy makers better understand the extent of the problems they faced. Part of this project's scope included leading a documentary workshop for adolescents. The teenagers wrote, photographed and reflected on the experiences. An exhibition of Looking Toward Home hung at the National Library of Azerbaijan in Baku and at Le Palais in Geneva, Switzerland. The work was published and distributed as a booklet by UNHCR and prints were auctioned to raise funds for the Center for Young Leaders, a non-governmental organization in Ganja, Azerbaijan.