© Photographer: Geert Noij
Arriving in Balukhali, I was greeted by hundreds and thousands of makeshift camps scattered over a hilly landscape.And as you enter the camps, you realise that you are stepping into a different world.You see children running around without pants and without slippers. You see toddlers digging the grounds looking for roots, you see young children carrying firewood from miles away,and you see the children and elderly carrying heavy sacks on their backs. Nobody is staring into their smartphones, nobody is listening to music through their earphones and no one is talking into the phones. It felt more like life.
Walking through the camps, rarely will you see smiles on the face of the adults. And when you just stop and look into their eyes, you see the pain and horrors those two orbs have witnessed. And you ask yourself, where were you?What were you doing when they were going through a genocide? Watching a movie? Listening to a song? Still being ever so oblivious of the realities of the world. And at that moment, you finally realise how far the entertainment and distractions of today has brought you away from the realities of other people’s lives.
Photographer Geert Noij (Netherlands)