Documentary Photography

Life Changes in an Instant

I spend the day organizing. First of all I need to change hotels. The one I’ve been staying in for the last two nights costs 90 Turkish Lira, about £30. My previous one was only £13. I’m here on my own budget so money matters every single step of the way.

People here are always offering to take me to Aleppo. I’m tempted but at a price of 300 American dollars each way for the 40km drive, it’s simply not possible for me. The steep price also indicates the level of danger. I met an Italian photographer that had been there. While I share a beer with Michele he tells me of his eight hours trip. The way that he grasps his head and looks down while he explains how a bomb landed just two blocks away says it all. It’s not worth going. From his eyes I can see that he is right.

After changing hotels I work for a few hours. The organizational side of things takes up a lot of my time and with the sun setting around four I have to be economical with the hours. When done I grab my camera and head out to locate a NGO run medical clinic for Syrians injured by the war.

On my way there I collect imagery not directly connected to the Syrian conflict. These pictures are meant for another project in my diary build on a scientific exploration of the so-called ‘Arab Felix’ that was sent by Danish king Frederick V in 1776 to explore the Arabian Peninsula.

I come across sheepherders and men blowing out the engines on their Yahama 4-gears. For these people this is just everyday life. But for me as a foreigner this is something absolutely stunning. It’s the power of looking, catching a glimpse and trying to comprehend.

A man in an impeccable suit stops on his motorbike. He talks to me in Turkish. I smile and say ‘hospital’ and he gestures me to get on. He speeds up and the wind in my face feels great.

We get to a three-storage house looking stranded. The wall is crumbling and Syrian number plates identify the cars parked outside. Inside is another world. Four small rooms are packed with hospital beds. In each bed lies someone wounded in one way or the other by the Syrian conflict. Some are FSA soldiers, some aren’t. Some are civilians and others are not. One thing that almost all of them share is that they’re just kids…

While I talk to patients that have lost arms and legs in the constant Aleppo bombing, a guy sees me and starts to yell. He’s angry and aggressive. I’m guessing that he is not Syrian, as he looks different from everybody else here. He shakes one of his crutches at me and I walk away.
“Don’t mind him, he’s just al-Qaeda” the other patients explains.
It’s clear that they don’t like him much. I ask if there are many al-Qaeda warriors in Syria and they tell me that there’s quite a few. Right now they are all fighting Bashar al-Assad, so it’s okay. But when the fighting is over and the winner has to be found they will become a problem.
“I’m Syrian and a Muslim and I am scared of them” one of the wounded tells me.

Daily life is lived outside the clinic

Daily life is lived outside the clinic

When I ask the doctor if they have enough medicine to treat the many patients he starts to laugh.

When I ask the doctor if they have enough medicine to treat the many patients he starts to laugh.

One patient giving another a haircut.

One patient giving another a haircut.

Medical supplies are provided by relief organizations as this clinic is privately run

Medical supplies are provided by relief organizations as this clinic is privately run

Khalid is six years old. He was hit by one of the many bombs falling on Aleppo these days. He lost his left arm and half his foot and is itching all over. The doctor thinks it might be due to an infection in his blood. Looking at his face it's clear that it was his left side that was hit the worst. A whole life lies in between these two expressions.

Khalid is six years old. He was hit by one of the many bombs falling on Aleppo these days. He lost his left arm and half his foot and is itching all over. The doctor thinks it might be due to an infection in his blood.

Ahmed is the leader of a small group of soldiers in the Free Syrian Army. He lost his leg in Aleppo as a fighter jet hit their position in the crumbling city.

Ahmed is the leader of a small group of soldiers in the Free Syrian Army. He lost his leg in Aleppo as a fighter jet hit their position in the crumbling city.

One response

  1. Henrik Schjørring

    Tak, bliver lidt klogere.

    Henrik Schjørring * Masten 66 3070 Snekkersten

    @ henrik@schjorring.com

    ( +45 49222214

    Beskrivelse: Beskrivelse: Mobile Phone Clip Art +45 20295244

    Fra: Anders Birger [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] Sendt: 9. december 2012 19:41 Til: henrik@schjorring.com Emne: [New post] Life Changes in an Instant

    AndersBirger posted: “I spend the day organizing. First of all I need to change hotels. The one I’ve been staying in for the last two nights costs 90 Turkish Lira, about £30. My previous one was only £13. I’m here on my own budget so money matters every single step of th”

    12/12/2012 at 11:23

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s