There is nothing so peaceful as watching a child sleep. Unless you realize that child has been forced to a foreign land and has suffered unimaginable terrors of war. That is the theme of “Where the Children Sleep”, a photo exhibit by Magnus Wennman about refugee children in Europe and the Middle East.
Twenty two images of children sleeping or resting in the street, woods or wherever they can find a spot, is anything but peaceful. The images are dark and gritty like the streets. In some of the images, the viewer must search for the outline of a form that slowly appears in the shadows. In some images only a hand appears from beneath a blanket. In others the only light is a reflection on the eye. Some of the children have a far away stare as if dreaming of a better world while others seem to sleep peacefully. In one image a mother holds her child in one arm while covering her veiled face with the other. It brings to mind old paintings of Madonna and Child. In another image, a girl who can’t speak stares hauntingly at the viewer as if asking for help. These are not nameless victims of war. They are children with names, stories, families, fears and dreams. This exhibit brings them out of the shadows.
It was an honor to be commissioned for the exhibition print production. Recently displayed in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building, the exhibit is scheduled for world travel. To learn more visit: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Better World Campaign