19 images Created 20 Jul 2013
Akkar, Lebanon: 16 refugee families live in tents erected within a disused slaughterhouse near the Syrian border. At night, the men get on their mobile phones and text home, hoping for news from friends and relatives under siege. I photographed them in the dark, their faces lit only by the glow of the screens. With the squalor of their surroundings mercifully cloaked in darkness, they could be us, outside a club, checking our messages - but their communiques are matters of life and death. Later, I photographed their phones and had the messages they hadn't deleted (for security) translated from Arabic to English. Texting Syria is now touring as a photographic installation, produced by artist/academic Shaunna Thatcher and coded by interactive developer/co-creator Daniel Arce.