The Syrian war has created an unprecedented refugee crisis with millions of Syrians displaced. Nearly 100,000 refugees live on a stretch of land in northern Jordan at the Za’atari camp, now the second largest refugee camp in the world. Located 12 kilometers from the Syrian border, the camp opened with just 100 families in July 2012.
In December 2013 – January 2014, four NOOR photographers, Nina Berman, Andrea Bruce, Alixandra Fazzina and Stanley Greene documented life at Za’atari. Around 100 of these photographs were then printed larger than life and pasted on 120 meters of the camp’s security walls as a way to humanize the architecture and give visitors and stakeholders an immediate impression of the people and life inside.
In addition to the wall mural, photographers constructed a photo studio with a black backdrop and invited refugees to have their portraits made alone or with someone or something they loved. The subjects chose how to pose and what expressions to offer; the photographers were at their service. Around 500 portrait prints were made on the scene and distributed o the spot.
The NOOR – Za’atari project was a collaboration between UNHCR, JEN, and produced by Nina Berman.