In France, an Afghan refugee photographs the journeys of his migrant comrades – .

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In France, an Afghan refugee photographs the journeys of his migrant comrades – .


LOON-PLAGE, France, December 8 (Reuters) – Afghan refugee Abdul Saboor began photographing the lives of migrants as he made his own arduous journey to Western Europe, determined to portray the difficulty of being uprooted and thrown into the unknown.

Saboor, 29, said he was driven out of Afghanistan by Taliban insurgents in 2015 and spent two years traveling to Europe. He captured his first images on a cell phone before a charity later gave him a camera.

“There was no one to photograph, to document what was going on,” he told Reuters. “I decided to witness our journey and to show the world, to show people how difficult it is to leave home. “

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Saboor has been a photographer since. He spends much of his time in makeshift camps in northern France where migrants fleeing war, poverty and persecution in Africa and the Middle East often squat before trying to reach the Great -Brittany.

It was from the shores of the English Channel in northern France that the 27 migrants who drowned trying to cross the Channel in a rubber dinghy last month left.

“I know how hard it is to leave all of your dreams behind,” said Saboor, who trained as a mechanical engineer in his homeland of Loon-Plage, a coastal town 20 km away. east of Calais where many migrant camps are located.

But dreams can be reborn.

Saboor was granted refugee status in France, and he now divides his time between Paris, Toulouse, where he teaches at an art school, and Calais, working for international press houses.

This week, some images of Saboor were shown at an event in a cultural bar in Paris where artists and journalists present their work. Curator Yael Caux said Saboor’s own experience lends a rare empathy to her images.

Saboor’s next ambition is to return to the Afghan border, where his exile began, and capture snapshots of those starting their new journey.

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Report by Pascal Rossignol and Noémie Olive; Written by Léa Guedj; Editing by Richard Lough and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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