A Map of Displacement
As Iraq’s first photography agency (and as individuals), we value honesty, integrity, transparency, teamwork, personal excellence, continual learning, mutual respect, and an appreciation for fair, objective, and ethical journalism.
Metrography was founded in 2009 by Iraqi photographer Kamaran Najm and American photojournalist Sebastian Meyer, with the objective of establishing a thriving, independent photography and photojournalism industry in Iraq. Through the spread of powerful visual journalism, we hope to help break down ethnic, cultural, and religious barriers, foster peer-to-peer collaboration and learning, and celebrate Iraq’s diversity and history by telling its story through high-quality photography, videography and multimedia productions.
With a core-group of nine Iraqi photographers, the agency has provided training to hundreds of photographers and journalists in the region; documented news throughout the country; organized festivals and exhibitions and collaborated with both international and local NGOs.
Since the beginning of the crisis and the rise of ISIS last year, the photographers of Metrography have reported on every aspect of the conflict: from embedding with the peshmerga forces to documenting the daily struggles of those who were escaping war and its brutality.
After a few months reporting news, the photographers began focusing on the other face of the conflict, showing the unprecedented human crisis that hit the Kurdistan Region of Iraq as the conflict intensified.
In the past months, over 1,200,000 displaced Iraqis have fled war and sought refuge in Kurdistan, causing a humanitarian catastrophe of biblical proportions. Unfortunately, being far away from the spotlight of the news and the front lines, this story has gone largely untold.
Thanks to their deeper understanding of the region and their proximity to the issue - which comes from photographers’ personal experience of being refugees themselves during the Anfal Campaign of Saddam against the Kurds in the ‘90s,, Metrography set out with the intention of telling the stories of these displaced people and launched its first collective project, “A Map of Displacement.”
With an unprecedented access to these stories, the photographers are now reporting on the lives and struggles of IDP families with the most diverse cultural and religious backgrounds. Rather than showing the war through its most violent face, the goal of Metrography is to focus on daily life and celebrate diversity, intimacy and humanity - all values that are at stake and that have always been at the very center of the photographers’ work in the region.
Right now Metrography - which is the only independent agency in Iraq - is exploring new ways of sustaining itself through work that moves away from the spotlight of hard news and offer in-depth reporting on certain issues or topics. The collective project “A Map of Displacement,”, which focuses on the humanitarian crisis that resulted from the expansion of ISIS, is the first step in this direction.
You can support Metrography and the completion of its first collective project by joining their crowdfunding campaing on byline: http://www.byline.com/journalist/metrography/project