Swedish photojournalist Magnus Wennman traveled around Europe and the Middle East capturing refugee children as they flee from conflict. In his heartbreaking photo essay Where the Children Sleep, Wennman poignantly captures the suffering these children endure amidst a five-year, seemingly endless bloodbath. As these images are exposed, one can only hope it sends an encouraging reminder as to why the world shouldn’t shut its doors to refugees.
In his project, Wennman detailed the heartrending lives of each child and the hardships they must withstand.
In the above photo, Wennman wrote about 5-year-old Iraqi child, Lamar, whose bed is now the damp Serbian forest floor.
“Back home in Baghdad, the dolls, the toy train, and the ball are left; Lamar often talks about these items when home is mentioned. The bomb changed everything. The family was on its way to buy food when it was dropped close to their house. It was not possible to live there anymore, says Lamar’s grandmother, Sara. After two attempts to cross the sea from Turkey in a small, rubber boat, they succeeded in coming here to Hungary’s closed border. Now Lamar sleeps on a blanket in the forest, scared, frozen, and sad.”
In the below photo, Wennman writes about 5-year-old Walaa from Aleppo, Syria. She now lives in a refugee camp in Dar-El-Ias.
"Walaa, 5, wants to go home. She had her own room in Aleppo, she tells us. There, she never used to cry at bedtime. Here, in the refugee camp, she cries every night. Resting her head on the pillow is horrible, she says, because nighttime is horrible. That was when the attacks happened. By day, Walaa’s mother often builds a little house out of pillows, to teach her that they are nothing to be afraid of.”
These images, while beautifully mesmerizing and surreal, depict the harsh reality refugee children live every day. When will the world wake up and realize these are the faces they are adamantly turning away?