Oasis Rhodes

In May of 2016, I joined my friend Kevin and brother Jon in Rhodes, Greece, intent on using our resources to support the Syrian refugees. While you've undoubtedly heard of the crisis, you may not be aware that it's the greatest refugee crisis we've faced since World War Two, with around five million refugees in neighboring countries and millions more displaced within Syria.

Our trio was lucky enough to enter a tiny refugee camp in Rhodes, Greece, (nicknamed "Oasis Rhodes" by the residents), thanks to the head of the camp, Papa Dinos. In fact, we were the first "journalists" ever allowed inside the camp. Unfortunately, local journalists on the island discovered our presence and threatened to cause problems for Papa Dinos if he didn't kick us out. So, while we had originally intended to make a full documentary, our time there was cut short.

Before our early departure, I was able to take family portraits for several families and share the images via email to their smart phones (crazy!), in addition to photographing life in the camp and an interview with Papa Dinos. 

Aided by a translator, many people explained to me their frustration with the media's portrayal of the crisis, which they said selectively highlighted the most pitiful aspects of their story.  So, in my own curation of these images I tried to highlight the dignity, resilience, and joy I saw in the families while still acknowledging the gravity of the situation.