Award-winning photographer Patrick Willocq has produced a striking new series of images depicting what it’s really like to be a refugee child. The photos, commissioned by Save the Children in partnership with education company Pearson, are based on real experiences and staged with the help of children living in refugee camps. 

Willocq’s eight images show the hopes, fears and everyday challenges faced by Burundian and Syrian children seeking refuge in Tanzania and Lebanon respectively. Refugee children, artists, trades and craft people helped to build the large decorative sets, using materials found within the camp. Willocq’s subjects then positioned themselves within the sets, creating the final eight tableaux depicting themes such as memories of the past, the reality of present day life in refugee camp and dreams for the future.

Talking about the creation of this project, Patrick Willocq says: “At the beginning of this project, my aim was to tell refugee stories in a different way. Many of the refugee images you see in mainstream media are the same and perpetuate a stereotype. I wanted to show real children, involve the subjects, listen to them and create a set together staging their lives and desires. I wanted the resulting photos to be empowering representations of these children while upholding their dignity."

Read the stories of these refugee children...