Andrew McConnell, Photojournalist


Photo by A. McConnell/2009.

Minatu Lanabas Suidat, 25, journalist, pictured in Tifariti, Western Sahara.

“I was born in El Aaiún refugee camp, Algeria in 1984. I thought when I was a little girl that it was the nicest place in the world because I don’t know anything other than the camps. When I was ten I went to Spain with the Vacations in Peace program; that is when I began to realise we were refugees but I didn’t stop liking home. I think wherever I go I will always like this place, we are altogether here, we share everything.

I spent eleven years studying in Algeria. I returned to the camps last year and at first it was a little difficult but then I became part of the Sahrawi society again. I have worked as a journalist since December 2008 and I have learned a lot of things about my issue. Now I have a lot of chances to fight for my issue through writing and talking about the situation.

Now we are educated and we understand democracy but the negative is we are still here, without land, and relying on international aid. I hope the Sahrawis will have the chance for a referendum to decide their future, that’s all. I hope the chance comes through peace.”


Andrew McConnell is an award winning photographer whose work regularly documents people and places that remain under-reported. With an international reputation for producing original visual narratives he has regularly focused his work on the plight of refugees. In 2012 he completed a large scale body of work highlighting the growing issue of urban refugees, a project that took him to 8 cities across 4 continents. He has lived and in Lebanon for over 2 years and covered the Syrian refugee crisis throughout that time. His images have appeared in many of the world’s top publications and he has been honoured with numerous awards, including two 1st place prizes at the World Press Photo Awards, 4 National Press Photographers Association awards, including the prestigious Best of Show, and 2 Sony World Photography Awards.

1 family torn apart by war is too many

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