AT THE EDGE
OF THE EARTH

over There… but a few kilometers away from a country, a memory...

the tents line up one beside the next, harboring a hopeful dream of return, sheltering eyes braced against fatigue.

 
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over There… where the earth is fertile only because of the women who nurse it…

they live and hide in their laps a guarded softness for a missing husband, a detained son or a lover lost in the hostilities.

 
 
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These photos from Assem Hamsho’s 2016 Paris exhibition At the Edge of the Earth (Au Bord de la Terre) compose a narrative bearing witness to the daily lives of Syrian women in the Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon. They observe the details of this quotidian existence, offering a clear picture of the women’s suffering and living conditions.

Assem Hamsho’s photos were taken in 2013–2014, a period during which Assem himself lived in the camps. He worked with the children there and was a volunteer teacher. Because of this, he was also a first-hand witness to these women as they left each morning to go work, and returned each evening, crippled with fatigue.

There in the camps, Assem’s camera was not just an eye into particular happenings or people. It also transmitted the aroma of the good bread these women prepared, the crackling of twigs they gathered when the cold began to arrive, and the hope they share of one day leaving behind this tent at the edge of the earth...

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