Entry Title: "Asma"
Name: Alex Beldea , United Kingdom
Category and Expertise: Photo Essay and Feature Story|Deeper Perspective, Student


Entry Description: According to the UN, 50% of the Syrian refugees are children. Together with their families, they fled war or social instability and found shelter in safer countries. Part of the refugees, slightly more than 10%, fled to Europe. This idealistic place is supposed to be their new home, a home that comes with both comfort and struggle. Many of these children are waiting for their asylum approval, while learning new languages, going to new schools and embracing a different life. Shadows of what pushed them towards leaving their homes still persist, in contrast with this new chapter of their life which they have not chosen. Built up in Salzburg, Austria, the project represents a photographic immersion into the regrettable events that these children have experienced, but also an acknowledgement of the ordinary life that they had before any social or political crisis. *Asma is an Arabic name for girls that can mean ‘prestige’

Story: In 2011, within the context of the Arab Spring, the Syrian people commenced protests against the Government, leading to a nationwide unrest which still continues. Amplified by the expansion of ISIS, the situation has become dramatic, leaving individuals and families with no other option than a nomadic life that they didn't choose. Hoping to find a better and safer life, many Syrians seek refuge in Europe, but the trip from Syria to their destination is strewn with obstacles. According to the UN, 50% of the Syrian refugees are children. Together with their families, they all fled war or social instability and found shelter in safer countries. Part of the refugees, slightly more than 10%, fled to Europe. This idealistic place, as they were imagining it, is supposed to be their new home, a home that comes with both comfort and struggle. Many of these children are still waiting for their asylum approval, while learning new languages, going to new schools after they were forced to quit theirs at home, adapting themselves and embracing a different life. Shadows of what pushed them towards leaving their homes still persist, in contrast with this new chapter of their life which they have not chosen. Built up in Salzburg, Austria, the project represents a photographic immersion into the regrettable events that these children have experienced, but also an acknowledgement of the ordinary life that they used to live before any social or political crisis. ‘Asma’ project, through portraits, seeks to imply the individuality and importance of every human being and every child facing this situation, stepping away from stereotypical representations of ‘groups of X migrants’. *Asma is an Arabic name for girls that can mean ‘prestige’

About the Artist:

Documentary Photographer based in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. Awards: APHE Photomeet Bursary 2015 Winner; IPA 2014 Honorable Mention