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Monday, July 22, 2024

Submitted by Brian Otieno, and Anthony Ochieng, Kenya: Closing Dadaab was one of the 2017 Student Media Grant Program projects for the Center on Conflict and Development.

Kenya: Closing Dadaab

2017 Student Media Grant Program

Our proposal seeks to photographically document the trajectory of refugee life at the Dadaab Refugee Complex amidst calls from the Kenyan government for its disbandment, as well as the subsequent repatriation of refugees to their countries of origin.

The camp hosts a population of 350,000 refugees, nearly 80% of whom are Somali. It has also served as a breeding ground for the Al Shabaab terrorist group, whose members have been unleashing terror on Kenyans through their extremist activities. We intend to spend time in the camp documenting refugee life through photography, with a focus on learning how the camp’s imminent closure affects their view of their present circumstances. We will also delve into how refugees from various politically unstable, war-torn countries compare and contrast with one another.

We will bring to life refugees’ day-to-day life through photography in the hopes of creating a greater awareness of the current Kenyan refugee crisis and the efforts needed to improve the lives of refugees after resettlement. By conducting this project, we hope to contextualize the refugee crisis and detail the ongoing situation through the eyes and stories of the refugees themselves. We will then share our photographic story with various media outlets, the UNHCR, and other actors within the humanitarian space.

The grantees are currently awaiting authorization from local authorities to access Dadaab and begin their project.

Brian Otieno

Brian Otieno

Brian Otieno is an award-winning freelance student photojournalist and the founder of an online photo project, “Kibera Stories,” which debuted in 2013. He was raised in Kibera – East and Central Africa’s largest slum located in Nairobi, Kenya. He is an undergraduate student studying Journalism and Strategic Public Relations at the Multimedia University of Kenya.

Brian’s passion lies in capturing the visual realities of the lives of the people around him, and telling their stories through online publication. His visual stories attempt to go beyond the chaotic appearance and to demonstrate the daily lives in Kibera from socio-economic, cultural, political and environmental perspectives. In so doing, Brian also attempts to draw the attention of the public, so that they may better understand the diversity, dynamics, and inequality of urban life.

A talented photographer, Brian has won several global photographic accolades, including The DSW ‘Be The Change’ 2015 Contest. Brian was also selected for The 2016 Masterclass East Africa.

Anthony Ochieng

Anthony Ochieng

Anthony Ochieng is a student of politics and Public Administration at Moi University, Kenya. As a writer, he has a knack of telling humanitarian stories with the ‘barrel of the pen’. He currently researches and writes on the refugee situation in Kenya, ‘Tech-For Good’ innovations in Kenya, with particular emphasis on healthtech, agritech, renewable energy, clean-tech and waste management at Clean Leap. He has previously been awarded twice: Hack4Farming Agricultural Innovation (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2015: Finagrow, 1st place position), Tech Finalist (Enablis East Africa: Search-IT, 2012) He is a Social Researcher at Foresight Research and a student of public policy. Besides, he has 8 years of experience in social and political research, project management and strategy; He has several professional and student memberships, thus; Member of the International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS) Youth for Human Rights International and The Global Citizens’ initiative.

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