Commissioned by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the “What We Share” project explores the manifestation of solidarity in times of displacement. Photographed in Niger and Iraq, the project sheds light on what it means to flee your home and, once displaced, what people share with each other.
Featuring: Vincent Tremeau, Stefano Carini, Rawsht Twana
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in partnership with United Photo Industries
Around the world, more than 128 million people are trapped in crisis and struggling to survive. From Afghanistan to Yemen, conflict and natural disasters are causing widespread suffering on a scale not seen since the Second World War. Displacement is a central consequence of these crises, reflected in the record-breaking 65.6 million people who were forcibly displaced by conflict and violence in 2016.
For “What We Share,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) teamed up with photographers to explore the theme of solidarity in times of displacement. The first series, photographed by Vincent Tremeau, tells the stories of host families in Niger, who share what little they have with Nigerian refugees fleeing violence and insecurity. The second series, a joint collaboration between Stefano Carini and Rawsht Twana, focuses on the common history and memories that displaced people share in northern Iraq, a region of the world that has witnessed multiple waves of displacement.
While displacement often conjures up images of people crossing borders and seas, seeking assistance and protection, “What We Share” offers a unique perspective, highlighting the powerful ties that bind people together in the most trying of circumstances.
Vincent Tremeau, born in 1984, is a French photographer. After studying law, he carried out several missions as a humanitarian worker in crisis-affected countries. In 2014, Tremeau pursued his commitment to be an independent photographer and began documenting several humanitarian crises across Africa and Asia. He has worked with a range of United Nations and non-governmental organizations. His “What We Share” series, commissioned by OCHA in 2016, highlights solidarity between refugees and host families in Diffa, Niger.
Stefano Carini worked as a photo editor for NOOR Images in Amsterdam after studying photography and photojournalism. In May 2014, he moved to Iraq where he lead Metrography, the first Iraqi photo agency, and created the Map of Displacement, an interactive project that tells the stories of displaced Iraqis. Carini has trained photographers and visual storytellers in Europe and Iraq, given lectures, and curated both solo and group exhibitions. He has been part of the World Press Photo’s Joop Swart Masterclass nominating committee since 2014. Carini’s main objective is to be part of, inspire, and push forward a cultural revolution in the ways and forms we produce, consume, and process images and visual documents. Carini lives and works in Scicli, Sicily and is the co-founder and director of DARST, a nomadic art studio for the research and production of documentary projects.
Rawsht Twana was born in 1988 in Qaladze, Iraq. He became a photographer in 2006 after discovering his father’s archive, who himself was a photographer before he was killed in 1992. Twana, who has been displaced twice in his life, has focused his work on the impact of conflict and displacement in his home country. In his “What We Share” series, Twana explores the common history, memories and culture that displaced people share, and that which unites them despite their differences. Twana currently lives in Suleymaniye, Iraq with his wife and daughter.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is the United Nations entity responsible for coordinating emergency response efforts in times of conflict and natural disasters. With staff in offices in over 50 countries, we work to save lives and protect people in humanitarian crises, and we advocate for effective and principled humanitarian action by all, for all.