Abd Doumany | Something's Missing


Country of Origin: Syria
Project Location:
Magnum Foundation Fund

"My scales fall off me one by one; feathers grow instead. I fly far away, then, in the middle of the sky, I explode. I don't belong to anything or anywhere now, only to the Idea.” Salina spoke those words to me, in one of our talks after we left Istanbul. Like me, Salina is a refugee. How did we come to inhabit that word?

Something’s Missing is a photographic project that aims to build a visual narrative of Syrian refugees’ feelings as we pass through different stages in their new life outside Syria. As a Syrian, my own journey is the impetus for the work.

After five years of siege, I eventually escaped through a tunnel to Qaboun where we were forcibly evacuated to the North of Syria by regime Russian allies, and was smuggled out of Syria, after 12 failed attempts. Although it was potentially dangerous, I chose to revisit Syria in May 2018 in order to understand my feelings about it. The scenes of the camps alongside the borders brought back siege memories, reminding me of a home that no longer exists. In addition to the distance I felt from my homeland, the experience of witnessing Turkish occupation of a few Syrian towns was devastating. I was seeking refuge in a country that is occupying part of my homeland. I have since arrived in London, UK, where I am continuing the project, focusing on different refugee communities in exile, trying to find out what it means to belong.