The first time I’ve ever met a Yazidi was in Turkey. I was coming back from the desolation of Kobane on my way to return home. A Yazidis family in a refugees’ camp in Viranşehir, Turkey, told me about their terrible fugue from ISIS in Iraq, passing from Rojava, then reaching Turkey. They would try in a while to reach Germany. It’s properly from their suffering stories that started an idea to develop a project about Yazidis people following their constant fugue that last around three years; from the beginning of 2015 until April of 2018. Yazidis are a religious group of about half a million people who is native of the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh. They share the same language and much of the culture of the Kurds of Turkey and Syria. Because of their attachment to a cult of pre-Islamic and gnostic origin they’ve been the main targets of ethnic cleansing by IS militiamen, along with Christians and Shiites. Everyone remember when in August 2014 IS forces committed a massacre, kidnapping also thousands of women, sold into slavery in Mosul or Raqqa. The population who survived to the attacks fled in the mountains around Sinjar where it was trapped without food, water or medical care, facing starvation, dehydration and the risk of more incursions by IS for several weeks. Fortunately YPG/YPJ and their local allies open a corridor towards the mountains to Rojava, led by Kurdish forces, in order to make them flee safely. Thousands of Yazidis get safe in Rojava and then travel to Europe on 2015. Some of them were stopped on the border between Greece and Macedonia between 2015-2016 on their fugue towards north. In this situation I met Saif, Said and Khder and his family, all Yazidis whome after years of refugees camps in Greece, finally reach Germany in order to create a new life far away from war and constat sufferings.
This is a long term project that tries to follow through a photo journey what they've seen in front of their eyes until reaching safely Germany.