Looking at the news, we see every day that displaced peoples and refugees are continuing to be propelled by conflict within and across national borders. This can mean that many individuals are unable to access basic services, including education, but it can be difficult for those of us in the West to always connect with such experiences in a meaningful way.
So, the Faculty of Education at Edge Hill University invited the independent photo journalist Guy Smallman to talk about his work to complement the ten-day exhibition of his work that was on display in Hale Hall during September and October 2018, with the support of I4P.
His experiences of working extensively in Afghanistan over the past decade and more recently in Syria, Southern Europe and Calais, means he provided a first hand and impactful account of the people he has met, that goes beyond the newspaper headlines.
On Thursday 4th October Mr Smallman discussed the images in the exhibition and a range of supplementary photographs, explaining some of the stories attached to them. This event was very informative as well as being incredibly moving. Mr Smallman described in detail his experiences of working with displaced children living in camps across Afghanistan and particularly in Kabul. Despite some of the harrowing aspects of the events he offered, there were also reasons for hope, as he described the positive aspects of children being able to access education within the camps and becoming sporting heroes as members of Afghan Olympic team and the national wrestling team.
Guy Smallman is a self-taught, London based photojournalist. He has worked all over the world in many different countries and environments specializing in social issues like human rights and poverty and his wide range of work can be viewed online.
Dr Clare Woolhouse is a Reader in the Faculty of Education at Edge Hill University.