Olivier Pain, Photographer

Aisha's photo

Photo by: Olivier Pain 2013

“No matter where I go, I always try to meet children. As a photographer, looking at the world through their eyes makes you see it in a completely different way, without any compromise.

I met Aisha while visiting a refugee camp in Burkina Faso. I was there to photograph the situation of Malian refugees in Sag-nionogo camp and I was stroke by the resilience of these refugees whose lives had been disrupted by the conflict, and who had lost everything. It took two days for Aisha to overcome her shyness and allowed me to talk to her. She needed to welcome me into her world before she trusted me.

This photo is the last one I took of her. Her smile and her eyes are full of joy and happiness. When I took this photo I did not know her story. I later learned through her friend’s mother that Aisha is an orphan and that her parents were killed in front of her.

Despite her horrific story, there is no trace of hatred in her eyes. It made me realise that like her, most of the kids in the camp had similar stories, but like her they were smiling and laughing. It gave me hope.”


Olivier Pain is a photojournalist based in France. He specialises in documenting aid and development projects in France and worldwide. Follow him on Twitter @olivierPain and find out more about his project in Burkina Faso: http://www.olivierpain-reporter-photographe-videaste-le-blog.com/tag/afrique/

1 family torn apart by war is too many

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