Stories of Survivors

8 Aug 2017 2017 OUTDOOR

Between 2011 and 2016, violent extremism claimed the lives of more than 33,000 Africans, and affected thousands more. In “Stories of Survivors,” the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and renowned photographer Malin Fezehai share survivors’ stories of violent extremist attacks in five African countries.

Featuring: Malin Fezehai

Presented by

United Nations Development Programme

Between 2011 and 2016, more than 33,300 Africans lost their lives to violent extremism. The growth of violent extremism has set in motion a dramatic reversal of development gains in Africa, and is also threatening to stunt prospects of development for years to come. Africa bears the brunt of the impact of terrorism in lives lost, economies ruined and relationships fractured. Extremists target public spaces such as markets and bus stations, forcing people to make a choice between risking death by going to work, or risking the very survival of their families.

In response, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Africa has developed a strategy to prevent and respond to violent extremism through a development lens.

In the photo exhibition, “Stories of Survivors,” the UNDP and photographer Malin Fezehai seek to shed light on and amplify the voices of those who often suffer in silence. Theirs are stories of resilience, perseverance and the triumph of humanity, as they rebuild their lives again. The survivors’ diverse religious, ethnic and national backgrounds highlight that violent extremism is a shared burden, and one that humanity, as a whole, must respond to.


Malin Fezehai is a Swedish/Eritrean New York-based photographer and filmmaker working and traveling in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and America. Malin’s career began in her native country of Sweden, where she studied photography before moving to New York to enroll at the International Center of Photography. Malin Fezehai’s work focuses mainly on communities of displaced and dislocated persons around the world.

In 2014, Malin Fezehai’s work on African asylum seekers in detention was a LightBox feature for TIME magazine. In 2015, her image depicting a wedding of Eritrean refugees was the first iPhone image to ever receive a World Press Photo Award. In the same year, Malin Fezehai was awarded the Wallis Annenberg Prize and named one of “30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch” by Photo District News.

In “Stories of Survivors,” Malin Fezehai has joined hands with the United Nations Development Programme to portray survivors of violent extremism across the African continent.


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) works in nearly 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and exclusion, and achieve sustainable development. The UNDP in Africa is a continent-wide programme supporting transformation in 45 countries by enhancing inclusive and sustainable growth, widening political participation that gives everyone a voice, and developing responsive institutions that promote inclusive processes of state-society dialogue. The work of the UNDP in Africa builds on UNDP’s expertise in development thinking and practice, and decades of experience working at national and global levels.