Elena Dorfman. Syria’s Lost Generation.
Syria’s Lost Generation is a powerful portrait series by photographer Elena Dorfman that takes a look at Syrian teens who have been forced to live in refugee camps due to the state of their native country, currently amidst a civil war. The portraits, accompanied by brief descriptions about each photographed individual, provides insight into the lives of these displaced teens who represent a generation in their culture that feels like it’s losing hope.
Dorfman spent six months covering the harrowing situations that Syrian refugees have endured during this time of crisis for theUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), focusing her coverage on the plight of teenagers relocated to camps in Lebanon and Iragi Kurdistan. Adolescence is hard enough on its own, but these youths have the added obstacle of living and coming of age in less than desirable conditions with little to encourage their development.
The teenage refugees face difficulties on all fronts, whether you look at it from a social, economic, or personal standpoint. Ultimately, they’re in an unfortunate position that has waned their ambitions for greater opportunities and any solid hope of returning to their home in Syria. They are left feeling lost both culturally and physically as displaced individuals in a foreign land.
I’tmad, 17, Lebanon. Iman’s younger sister. Also stays inside the camp most days and misses her old life filled with classmates and books.
Abdallah, 18, Domiz refugee camp in Iraqi Kurdistan
Lives in a “singles” section (an area for men who arrive with no family). After taking part in demonstrations and refusing to join the Syrian army, he was forced into exile to avoid grave consequences. He had to leave his mother and sister in Syria whom he’s had no contact with since his departure.
Bathoul, 18, Lebanon
Lives with her large family in a windowless cement shell on the side of the road; her home in Syria was destroyed. Had hopes of becoming an architect but now focuses on helping her mother and sister find food and clothing.
Dua’a, 17, northern Lebanon. Lives with her older brother. The rest of her family was unable to join her as the war intensified and became too dangerous.
Iman, 19, Lebanon
Shares a single room with her extended family at a shelter that houses seven hundred refugees. Her husband is back in Syria. She is wearing the only clothes she owns and stays inside all day.
Ziad, 14, Za-atari refugee camp in Jordan
Lives with his family. Has hope that he can return to Syria one day and rebuild their country.
Tarak, 18, northern Lebanon
Lives with his mother and siblings; his father was killed. Covers his face from fear of being recognized by Syrian officials.
Website UNHCR Website