Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Life in a Refugee Camp

It is probably impossible to accurately describe the despair of life in a refugee camp. However, with the emergence of dangerous politicians in the west who are willing to exploit concerns about immigration, it is becoming more and more important that journalists do try to communicate what life is like for those trying to flee country's ravaged by war and terrorism.

This American Life and Submarine Channel should be applauded for their fantastic efforts to describe refugee camps and the lives of those forced to live within them.

This American Life sent a team of of architects and engineers to map and describe a number of refugee camps in Greece. Greece is home to over 57,000 refugees. Most of them now live in over 40 refugee camps dotted around the country.

Hockey & Baseball Refugees is an online documentary exploring the situation faced by refugees living in Greek refugee camps. These camps are housed in an abandoned beach resort, an Olympic baseball stadium, an air force base, a highway rest stop and the grounds of an old psychiatric hospital.

The Hockey & Baseball Refugees documentary uses a collection of aerial views, oblique views and architectural drawings to provide visual tours of the five featured camps. These visual representations of the camps are accompanied by photographs and videos documenting the conditions in the camps. The accompanying text includes descriptions of life in the camp and firs-hand accounts from some of the refugees forced to live in them.

Domiz Refugee Camp in Iraqi Kurdistan was established in April 2012 to host Syrian Kurds. The camp was originally built to house 38,135 people. It is currently home to 57,953 refugees. As the number of refugees has grown the camp has gradually transformed from a temporary refuge into a makeshift town.

Refugee Republic has created an online documentary about the camp, using the Leaflet.js mapping platform to turn a hand drawn map into a fully interactive map. You can click on the colored roads and arrows on the map to learn more about life in Domiz Camp. The tour includes videos of the camp, information on how the camp and shelters were constructed and the stories of some of the refugees now living in Domiz Camp.

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