The book is a fascinating and personal insight from the time photo journalist, Russell Chapman, spent in Syria at the refugee camps of Jordan and Lebanon. First he recounts his own personal experience of what it was like to go to a war zone and his interaction with the people. The reactions of children to his camera and his surprise at how open the Syrian’s were with him. You can see how deeply he was touched by the people in their situation.
After, he gives a brief of history on the origins of the war in Syria, what began as revolution and has descended into a civil war along with the reasons why. It is interesting to see, in a nutshell, a summary of what is to be honest, an often confusing situation to outside viewers.
Then we come to the pictures, there are 3 sections. The refugees, life in Aleppo, the rebels. The pictures are very personal, in great detail transmitting strong emotion. You are certainly able to get a feeling of the people. Portraits, landscapes, and war zones are set in different situations. A lot of the photos have comments explaining the context in which they were taken. Through the images you come away with a sensation of knowing something about the people.
This book is a strong record of a personal journey into a war zone and yet it is also surprising. There is a real human touch into the images. Russell seems to have found a connection with his subjects as he photographed them and this is what makes the book unique, it isn’t so much a record of war but rather, a record of people, of who they are, as they cope with the consequences of war.
Thanks and always love,