The Wall Street Journal has published a photo reportage headlined “Searching for Home: Ed Kashi’s Photos of IDPs in Azerbaijan”.
The reportage says: “Since fleeing their homes two decades ago, a population of roughly 600,000 internally displaced persons has precariously existed in Azerbaijan. For some, the derelict buildings of repurposed cattle farms are the only home they have ever known. Others have spent 20 years yearning for the life they were forced to abandon amidst a war with Armenia over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The region has maintained relative peace by upholding a fragile cease-fire line between Azerbaijan and Armenia, but the absence of a permanent resolution leaves the fate of these people unresolved.
“Daily life for these folks is very hard,” photographer Ed Kashi said.
As a member of the VII Photo agency, Mr. Kashi was commissioned to spend a week in Azerbaijan, documenting the plight of the internally placed people and refugees. His photo series, entitled “Unresolved Dreams,” documents their uncertain future.
A report published by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center said that despite government assistance, they still experience “inadequate housing, precarious livelihoods, gender-based violence, segregated education, discrimination against children of the displaced and IDPs’ limited participation in decisions that affect them.”
Mr. Kashi said his subjects desired to return home once the conflict was resolved, especially the elderly. “They cried of returning to their towns and villages to be free to die in the land they cherish and miss so much. While the kids only know this current situation and seem to be adapting as best as possible in an abject situation, I did not speak to a single one among them wishing to stay if given the choice. They all see these settlements as a temporary situation before they can finally end their refugee life and rebuild their lives in their own lands.”