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In Exile: A blurry journey

Is it possible to fit in your memories and all you belong to in a small suitcase before stepping into a blurry journey?

© OCHA / Vincent Tremeau. Kutupalong refugee camp, Ukhia, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. (View&Purchase)

Imagine. Sirens are screaming. They groan the relentlessly approaching obscurity.

It's only a matter of minutes before you are to be torn apart from the place you breathe, the shopkeeper you say 'good morning' to, your neighbors who take your children to school together with their kids.

Last minutes before you leave behind your memories, that corner where you do groceries for a warm dinner together with your family.

It is the time to kiss your husband one last goodbye. Will you be able to see or hear him ever again?

It is the time to leave your home with one rapidly packed suitcase.

Are there options left?

© Vincent Tremeau. Ramandi district, Bangui, July 2014. Deserted house. (View&Purchase)

And now, Ukrainians shelter in Moldova

Last month, within the scope of UNICEF, together with Orlando Bloom, I met women and children who had to leave Ukraine and settle in a refugee camp in Moldova.

© Vincent Tremeau / Unicef. Border crossing between Ukraine and Moldova, Palanca, Moldova.

We witnessed thousands of people who just abandoned their past and stepped into an unknown situation with a single suitcase. Many tears were accompanied by hopes to survive in a new order.

© Vincent Tremeau / Unicef. Border crossing between Ukraine and Moldova, Palanca, Moldova.

© Vincent Tremeau / Unicef. UNICEF-supported “Blue Dot”, Moldexpo centre: Chișinău, Moldova.

Does being in exile have to be a part of our destiny?

In my photography series 'In Exile', I seek to find answers to the situation of people who had to leave their homes and lives behind in obscurity- all around our world.

‘Before a single Ukrainian refugee crossed the border, there were already more than 82 million people forced from their homes globally - the highest number on record.’-here, sharing the words of Angelina Jolie, who referred to a photo I had taken in Venezuela:

© Vincent Tremeau / UNHCR. A man holds a young girl to cross the river at the border with Colombia.

Looking back at this moment, I am confronted with a much deeper question beyond place and time. The consequences that we have to endure as a result of our own, let’s say, shadows.

Ever since my career as a photographer, I look for answers. Everywhere I meet the eyes of displaced people, I feel the contradiction of hope and uncertainty that eyes communicate with me in places and times where we don't speak the same language.

© Vincent Tremeau. Ah Nauk Ywey IDP Camp, Pauktaw Township, Myanmar. (View&Purchase)

Sensing the feeling of hope in the eyes is a deep breath I take in.

Whatever the place or the situation may be, seeing the light of life in the eyes...

Hope is the most basic feeling that keeps us up in this world and gives our journey a purpose.

Following our hopes, trying our best in the moment. Being able to love, to share, and never giving up on our dreams.

© Vincent Tremeau / Unicef. Moldexpo centre, Chișinău, Moldova.

Every moment I spend with people in exile shows me that dreams and hopes are as necessary as water and air.

© Vincent Tremeau / Unicef. UNICEF-supported “Blue Dot”, Moldexpo centre: Chișinău, Moldova.

In the end, we all strive to live our dreams.

My last assignment in some of the international media with Orlando Bloom/UNICEF in Moldova:

Feel free to connect, share and have a look at my photo series, as well as my fine art photography print collection.

Peace and love,



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