Please note that this projection can only be viewed from outside the ICP Museum and is most visible after sunset.

With the war entering its sixth year, a 19-year-old Syrian has spent their entire teen years in a state of arrested development. Depending on the province they live in, the course of their life and their experiences in it are defined by the fighting. Those in the east now live under the black banner of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Those in the northwest are now rebels. Those in the northeast are participants in the Kurdistan experiment.

Education interrupted, work evaporating, and the currency imploding, the war risks destroying the hopes, dreams, and ambitions of generations of Syrians. Stepping outside risks sniper fire, ransom kidnappings, or mortar showers. Staying indoors risks car bombs and barrel bombs. Aleppo is now the most dangerous city in the world.

The stories of those affected, the lives they leave behind, and the lives they look forward to, are the subject of Displaced: Stories from the Syrian Diaspora. The photographs and stories in this book are based on a ten-week trip through Europe at the end of 2015, when the refugee crisis peaked.

International media has already documented the journey and the crisis with a macro lens. What photographer Sara Kerens and producer/writer Majd Taby hope to do instead is to shine a light on the individuals behind the story and their struggle to rebuild and move forward with their lives.

Kerens and Taby share reflections on the project in an interview with curator Wesley Verhoeve. This exhibition is part of ICP’s new ongoing series Projected.

About the Artists

Sara Kerens is a New York City–based photographer enamored with the human character, watching some people enjoy life and life assail others. She has set out to capture all the thousands of stories of comedy and tragedy. For the past ten years her focus has been on editorial, fashion, and documentary work.

Majd Taby is a writer and software developer who studied computer science at the University of Michigan, where he first immigrated from Syria in 2003. After moving to Silicon Valley, he worked as an engineer and designer at Apple, Facebook, and Instagram. Most recently, Majd started Darkroom, a company to build tools for photographers. Over time, his passion for photography and storytelling has grown, and that passion is what drove the idea behind Displaced.


TOP IMAGE: Arrival, from Displaced: Stories from the Syrian Diaspora.