In the Picture: Urban refugees with Andrew McConnell

September 24, 2012

Picture credit: Andrew McConnell / Panos Pictures / IRC UK

As urbanisation reshapes much of the world, refugees are increasingly moving to built up areas, including large towns and cities. Working with the International Rescue Committee and the European Commission’s humanitarian aid and civil protection department ECHO in eight cities across four continents, Panos Pictures photographer Andrew McConnell has spent many months documenting the new reality for refugees. Through images, refugee testimonies and video, the resulting body of work presents a unique insight into the lives of urban refugees today and challenges commonly held stereotypes. From Somali refugees in Nairobi to Syrian refugees in north Jordan, and from Burmese refugees in Kuala Lumpur to Afghani refugees in New York, the story of where people flee when all is lost is changing.

McConnell will present his work at the Frontline Club in an event moderated by Dr Sara Pantuliano, Head of the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).

Andrew McConnell began his career covering the end of the conflict in his home country Ireland, before venturing overseas to document social issues around the world. McConnell‘s work has been published and exhibited internationally, appearing in National Geographic MagazineTime MagazineThe New York TimesThe GuardianFT Magazine, Vanity Fair, the Sunday Times Magazine and Der Spiegel among other publications. In 2011, he won two 1st prizes at World Press Photo Awards and two National Press Photographers Awards, including the prestigious Best of Show.

Dr Sara Pantuliano is a political scientist with more than 20 years’ experience in conflict and post-conflict contexts. Prior to joining ODI, Pantuliano led UNDP Sudan’s Peace Building Unit. She has written extensively on Sudan and is a regular media commentator on Sudan and humanitarian issues. Pantuliano is the Managing Editor of Disasters, the leading peer-reviewed journal in the field of natural catastrophes and man-made disasters, anda member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Catastrophic Risk.