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A Beautiful Multimedia Newspaper Exposes Life In The World's Largest Refugee Camp


Stashed in: Africa, Scarlett, Innovation, Refugees United

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“What’s unique about this project is this isn’t an American film crew coming into a camp and spending a short period of time there and shooting some kind of 90-minute doc we hope to get into Sundance,” Jones said. “This is a group of refugees telling their own story.”

Those stories include an “emergency response” video to a cholera outbreak; an orientation film watched by all new refugees; a cautionary tale about the consequences of rape. They also include the story of , a music video from the Dadaab All Stars; and coverage of a visit from Scarlett Johansson.

There are half a million people in that refugee camp?!

A week before he flew to the world’s largest refugee camp, Ryan Jones was preparing to shoot a beach volleyball video in Times Square. He had never even heard of Dadaab. "I was just happy sitting on my couch, eating my Doritos and watching Mad Men," Jones told me over the phone.

In the next week, he learned about the famine that was wracking Somalia at the time (summer 2011) and flooding the arid border of Kenya with refugees. He learned how many of those refugees were coming to Dadaab—a group of camps built 20 years ago to shelter 90,000, that now had a population of half a million, making it the largest refugee camp in the world. "They were preparing me for the sheer numbers that were going to be arriving," Jones said. "The chaos and all that."

That's a big city!!

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