In the hierarchy of refugee situations, Dadaab is at the bottom. And despite being the world's largest refugee camp, it attracts little attention until terrorist attacks turn our minds toward it.
That it is "forgotten" makes no sense to me: If Dadaab was a city, it would be Kenya's third largest. It generates an economy of over $25 million– this from a people who are not allowed to leave unless it is to return to Somalia. Can you imagine the possibilities?
Our problem is that we lump the refugee experience into one narrative without exploring what else comes with being a refugee. To be sure, these are people who have known incredible pain and loss. But they deal with it by retaining some semblance of normalcy.
They open businesses, have sports teams, join youth groups, engage in camp politics etc. To view Dadaab only through the lens of idleness and misery is to sorely misunderstand a camp that is pregnant with untapped potential.
The goal of these images is to show that yes, there is hardship and despair but there is also life, hope and opportunity in the world's largest refugee camp.