March 10 th - 15th @ Ponsonby Central
Eight years ago, photographer Jo Currie fell in love with Syria while travelling through the Middle East. She loved the food, the architecture, the morning prayers, but most of all she loved the people.
Five years into a civil war that has ripped out the heart of the country, Currie has little hope for Syria’s future. But the refugees she photographed in Lebanon, Jordan and in Eastern Europe for World Vision, are the same people she fell for.
“The people are just the same. They are so hospitable. When you visit these camps the first thing they offer you is a cup of tea. They want to talk to you,” Currie says.
Last year Currie travelled with World Vision to Lebanon, Jordan and Serbia where she met and photographed Syrians who had been forced from their homes by the war, fleeing in the hope of saving their families. Young boys who no longer attended school, but were instead working to provide for their families. An elderly woman who was caring for her for granddaughters after their parents were killed by a bomb in Damascus. A young girl who were being forced to marry to avoid even greater exploitation.
“I was brought to tears when a young girl said she wanted to open an orphanage. She wants to help all the kids who have lost their parents.”
To mark the 5th anniversary of the war in Syria, World Vision is hosting Currie’s photos in Ponsonby Central and in the containers on Te Wero Island in the Viaduct.
They are arresting portraits that give a vision into the lives of the victims of the war. The photos show their despair, but also the hope that they will one day go home to Syria.
“They don’t want to go to Germany, they want to go home. They all have a hope that will happen. That is something they hold on to,” says Currie.
The exhibition will run in Ponsonby Central from March 10 – 15th.
On Sunday 13th March at 3pm World Vision is hosting a Q&A with Jo Currie in Ponsonby Central’s Sapphire Room.
A virtual reality film will also be available, letting you step into the lives of those affected by the war.