From Conflict to Connection: A Photo Essay on Young Women in Skaramagas Refugee Camp

Footage:project
Nov 26, 2017 · 3 min read

For the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence (November 25th — December 10th), these photographs share scenes of Skaramagas, Greece’s largest refugee camp. In Skaramagas, Footage Foundation has provided Her{connect}Her, a digital storytelling and voice program for young refugee, asylee, and migrant women worldwide. Throughout the 16 Days of Activism, Footage will advocate for young women displaced by crisis and conflict, raising awareness of their vulnerabilities in respect to gender-based violence, their profound resilience, and the positive impact connection has on their lives and the world. Footage Foundation provided Her{connect}Her in Skaramagas in partnership with the aid organization Drop in the Ocean.

Entrance into Skaramagas is through a gap in the barbed wire fence. The rhythmic squeak of a rusty swing set is often the only sound breaking through early morning silence at the camp.
Approximately 3,000 Syrian Arabs, Kurds, Iraqis, and Afghans reside in the camp, half of them minors. Young women live with mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, their children, cousins, aunts, uncles, close friends. Sometimes, up to 16 people live in small metal containers/caravans — home for now.
Young women taking part in Her{connect}Her transformational workshops become part of a safe space where they bravely share their journeys of being forcibly displaced. In Skaramagas, young women reflect on their own strength and resilience and learn first-hand that through sharing their story, they can connect with, mitigate the pain of, and positively impact the millions of displaced young women living elsewhere in the world.
During Her{connect}Her workshops, young women consider how they can use technology to raise awareness, articulate their vulnerabilities, and advocate for their needs and those of their families.
Young women in Skaramagas describe their daily emotions, including feelings of instability and fears for their futures. They also articulate their needs, notably their desperate need for education. Young women in the program, some as young as 15, have been out of formal schooling for more than six years. They are now unable to attend in the camp, and previously, were unable to attend regularly in their own countries as violent conflict raged.
Connection is paramount. During Her{connect}Her, friendships form, and feelings of belonging, inclusion, and community bolster well-being and begin to counteract the negative impact displacement can have on one’s feelings of worth.

Photographs and text: Dr. Kristen Ali Eglinton, Executive Director
Photo and copy editing: Kathryn Weenig, Impact Manager

Join Footage Foundation throughout the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, when we will launch our new series: “Her Routes and Roots,” featuring young women’s personal experiences of displacement and digital stories produced by young women during our Her{connect}Her workshops in four countries.

For more information on our evidence-based programs, email us at info@footageyouth.org or visit www.footageyouth.org.

Footage:project

Raising voices to elevate lives

Thanks to Kristen Ali Eglinton, PhD

Footage:project

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Dynamic NGO using media arts and local technology to amplify the voices of youth as means of igniting positive social change. We raise voices to elevate lives.

Footage:project

Raising voices to elevate lives

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