• Olivier PAPEGNIES / Collectif Huma

Being in the hands of Daesh is like being a slave. I spent my days alone, deprived of water and food. Locked in the dark as in prison, I could not see the sun anymore. Minutes counted as hours. I was abused, beaten and raped by each of my “owners”. We are no longer human beings under the threat of this armed group monster. We live a nightmare awake.

Haifa, 22, remained a two-year prisoner of Isis men, before finding refuge in the Chamisku camp.
This story, this intimate tragedy, is the one experienced by hundreds of thousands of people during the second Iraqi civil war, between December 2013 and December 2017. Occupation of their city, bombing, fighting and finally the escape to flee the rapid progression of the organization of the Islamic State. Since the partial annexation of the west of the country by ISIS jihadists, Iraqis - Kurds, Yazidis, Assyrians or Arabs - have lived in violence. Most of them tell painful stories about forced displacement, cold blood executions, beheading, rape, corporal punishment and loss of loved ones. Nearly half of them fled to Iraqi Kurdistan and surrounding areas. The Dohuk governorate, located on the Turkish border, hosts more than 500,000 people living in prefabricated camps or makeshift shelters in early 2017. After fleeing in tragic conditions, they are traumatized. Mental health is one of the humanitarian issues in this country. Their past under ISIS, their present of displaced and the uncertainty of their future are vectors of important psychological disorders explains Amélie Courcaud, general coordinator in Iraq of Doctors of the World. The population received by Doctors of the World suffer from anxiety, sleep disorders, depression or post-traumatic stress. The sequels are deep.
Photographer Olivier Papegnies accompanied the teams of Doctors of the world for a week in January 2017 to testify to these invisible wounds.

Olivier PAPEGNIES / Collectif Huma

Olivier Papegnies is a photojournalist based in Brussels, member of the Collective Huma. His photo stories are published in the Belgian and international press. He is working with the newspapers La Libre Belgique and Le Monde. He is also collaborating with NGO’s such as Doctors of the world, Amnesty International…
He received the Special jury award of “Scoop and journalism” in Angers (France) for his work about Orange agent in Vietnam Apocalypse children; the European price Lorenzo Natali in 2009 for his story Bophal, 25 years later, the Belfius price in 2010 of the best press picture in Belgium, the NPPA Nikon press award for his story on the Haiti earthquake and the Price of the Belgian parliament in 2012 for Crazy about love about love and mental disability.
In 2015 he received a grant from the Belgium journalism fund in order to document Christian community in Lebanon.
In 2017, he is also granted with the same found to document vigilance groups in Burkina Faso called “the Koglweogo”
In 2018 he received the prestigious award Visa d’or for his photo documentary Koglweogo, when the state fails at the international photojournalism festival Visa pour l’image in France.

He received the Special jury award of “Scoop and journalism” in Angers ( France) for his work about Orange agent in Vietnam “Apocalypse children”; the European price Lorenzo Natali in 2009 for his story “Bophal, 25 years later”, the Belfius price in 2010 of the best press picture in Belgium, the NPPA Nikon press award for his story on the Haiti earthquake and the Price of the Belgian parliament in 2012 for “crazy about love” about love and mental disability.
In 2015 he received a grant from the Belgium journalism fund in order to document Christian community in Lebanon.
In 2017, he is also granted with the same found to document vigilance groups in Burkina Faso called “the Koglweogo”
In 2018 he received the prestigious award « Visa d’or « for his photo documentary « Koglweogo, when the state fails» at the international photojournalism festival
Visa pour l’image in France.