Photographer Portrays Pain – and Hope – of Refugees Reaching Albania

Supported by Caritas Albania, UNHCR and Caritas Austria and Caritas Italy, a new exhibition in Tirana called "The Dreams We Carry" shows portraits of refugees that have come to Albania. Most of the pictures were taken at border points, mostly at the Greek-Albanian border called Kapshtica, at nearby refugee reception centres.

After being shown in Tirana from 8-10 November at the National Museum, the exhibition will move to other cities, such as Korca, Gjirokastra, Durres Shkodra, also returning to Tirana.

"The purpose of this exhibition is to document the pain and sacrifice of refugees traveling from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, etc., for a safe life! The photographs are a human reflection on life, the individual and society, and we aim to inspire and raise awareness among those who support causes in aid of refugees, not only in Albania but also abroad," photographer Renuar Locaj told BIRN.

"All the characters I have met have dreams just like us; we are equal and have the right to live safe and free. Images are meant to change the way we see people and understand the world," he continued.

Asked about the biggest challenges that he faced creating the photographs, he said: "The biggest challenge in this experience was the emotional involvement and experiencing the stories of each person."

"I was looking at children who played the role of parents and parents exhausted from hunger and the difficulties of the long journeys, who in terms of sensitivity surpassed even the children.

"In their experiences, I saw the overthrow of everything we all take for granted. They were the perfect models for photography because they loved life, and that desire was clearly expressed in their eyes. This desire is the extraordinary energy that...

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