A critical review of Espen Rasmussen.

Espen Rasmussen is a Documentary photography, based in Norway. He is also a photo editor for VG helg (the weekend magazine of VG newspaper). His work focuses on current humanitarian crisis’ and climate change. He may be best known for his body of work titled ‘The flight to europe 2015’ which documents some of the 12 millions people who have fled war and suffering in Syria. Espen travelled the route that many migrants are taking (from Greece, through the Balkans and arriving in Germany). “There was shelling every day in our neighborhood,” Qassem said. “I waited until I could find secure passage for us. We’re apprehensive about life in Jordan but we had to leave. I carried my two daughters for a mile through the mud to get to the border.”

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Samir Nazal (24) are preparing for his own wedding. In one of the tents in the House in Meraar refugee camp in the Zahle province in Lebanon, a young man has started up as a hairdresser.

I really appreciate how Rasmussen captured this image. I think that this is an important fact to bring to the publics attention, that even though these refugee camps are designed to be temporary, life still has to go on. For their own sanity, there has to be some level of normality. Rasmussen has made Samir having his haircut, the focus of attention in this image.He has however, taken this image from an angle which shows another man in the background preparing a drink on a sofa. I feel like you can tell a lot about how he is feeling, sadness and vulnerability. As well as this, I think this image also shows how strong the community is as it has quite quickly built a business. Hair salons are a place where people can talk or simply have their hair done, giving people an opportunity to get their troubles off their chest or have a moment of quiet in what is a very hectic, stressful situation.

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Wedding in the Housein Meraar refugee camp in Lebanon. The friends of 24-year old Samir is dancing and singing together groom before they travel to a camp near by to pick up his coming wife.

I think this image reiterates my previous statement that the refugees are keeping a level of normality to their lives. These people are celebrating with the groom in a traditional way. For a moment, they are happy and rejoicing. Rasmussen captured this perfectly in my opinion, with the ladies hands clapping in the foreground, people smiling and supporting each other and the traditional towel as the focus in the centre of the image.

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A boat has stopped some meters from land and Syrian refugees swim to get to safety on the Greek island Lesvos. The inflatable boats starts in the area around Izmir in Turkey and use between one and two hours to get to the European side.

In comparison to the previous two images, this one has a theme of struggle, chaos, uncertainty and fear. Using a faster shutter speed, Rasmussen has captured the waves and splashes created by the sea and the tone of the image suggests the water is very cold. I also think this image shows the strength of the refugees, battling to get to safer land. It is almost like a scene from a movie, but sadly this is reality. You can see children in this image too, and families determined to keep them safe.

When looking at Espen Rasmussen, all of his work has a theme of humanitarian crisis’. His work is very real and shows the harsh truth of what is happening in the world. I really appreciate what he is doing with his work (and this is something I would love to do in the future too), spreading awareness. It shows varying themes of peace, chaos, tragedy and rebuilding. I have learnt a lot looking at Rasmussen’s work. For example, how perspective and composition help a great deal in telling a story through an image.  This is something I am going to take forward with my work, to ensure my aims come across in my images.

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