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Thailand: refugees use photography to share their lives
February 07, 2012

Thailand: refugees use photography to share their lives
This is a picture of my wife — isn't she beautiful? — giving a bath to our youngest daughter. When people think of refugees they think we are so sad, and I want to show that we are bright and can be happy, too, even in this situation. (Photo and caption by Blaise, Democratic Republic of the Congo)
(Bangkok) February 7, 2012 — So often the lives and stories of refugees and asylum seekers are told through the people who know them. We at Jesuit Refugee Service often focus on sharing those stories, but we understand the power of people sharing their own stories. 

Jesuit Refugee Service Asia Pacific recently ran an urban refugee photo project in Bangkok called See What I See. The project enabled the refugees themselves to share their stories through photography. This simple idea really seems to have captured people's interest and has helped us in our mission to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of urban refugees in Bangkok. 

The project involved urban asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, China and Cambodia. They participated in a one-day photography training at our office and were lent small cameras for two months. When they came back, they told the stories behind their photos and decided which they would like to display.

They asylum seekers are from different countries and left their homes for different reasons, but they all now live in Bangkok, waiting for resettlement.

Photos made by the asylum seekers can be seen on the JRS AP website by clicking here. Scenes from an exhibition of the photography by the urban asylum seekers can be found by clicking here.


Thank you to Molly Mullen and Valeria Racemoli who trained the refugees, accompanied them through the process and organized the exhibition of their work.


by Oliver White
Regional Communication Advocacy Officer
Jesuit Refugee Service Asia Pacific

Download the JRS Asia Pacific newsletter here; images from the project are on pages 14 & 15.

Press Contact Information
Oliver White
asiapacificrao@jrs.or.th
+66 2 640 9590