Magnum Foundation

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Abd Doumany | Normal Abnormal

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Country of origin: Syria
Project location: Syria and Turkey
Program: Arab Documentary Photography Program
Year: 2018

After seven years of brutal war in Syria, nothing remained in the shape or form which we were accustomed to. With poverty, death, shelling, killings, and destruction becoming elements of daily life for civilians, much of the ‘ordinary’ has become non existent. Instead, there are surreal scenes where dead children’s bodies are placed in swings while they wait for burial; plastic bags are used as window shields; guns are brought to football fields; fridges become storage spaces; and curtains are used as shrouds for the dead.

This series of images captured in both Syria’s rebel-held and government besieged town of Douma, shows how in adjusting to the daily life of war, what would have seemed unimaginable a few years ago has become a daily mundane occurrence. The people of Douma are left with no options but to use whatever objects they can find and adjust to the surrounding environment. Those in exile are also forced to adapt to new ways of living.

With this project, I am to show people outside of Syria the daily reality of people living in besieged areas, and in exile. Through images, I want to show the day-to-day scenarios that get little or no coverage in mainstream media.