The Waiting Place: When Home Is Lost and a New One Not Yet Found
author: Dina Nayeri
illustrator: Anna Bosch Miralpeix
Every war, famine, and flood spits out survivors.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) cites an unprecedented 71 million forcibly displaced people on the planet today. In 2018, Dina Nayeri—a former refugee herself and the daughter of a refugee—invited documentary photographer Anna Bosch Miralpeix to accompany her to Katsikas, a refugee camp outside Ioannina, Greece, to record the hopes and struggles of ten of them—siblings and friends from Iran and Afghanistan. “I wanted to play with them, to enter their imagined worlds, to see the landscape inside their minds,” she says. Ranging in age from five to seventeen, the children live in partitioned shipping-crate homes crowded on a field below a mountain. Robbed of curiosity and purpose, dignity and identity, each battles the dreary monster of a paused life.
Ten lyrical passages lead one into the next, punctuated by intimate photographs, to reveal the dreams, ambitions, and personalities of each displaced child, followed by a powerful account of the author’s own experiences in a camp. Locking the global refugee crisis sharply in focus, The Waiting Place is, finally, an urgent call to change what we teach young people about the nature of home and safety.
An unflinching look at ten young lives suspended outside of time—and bravely proceeding anyway—inside the Katsikas refugee camp in Greece.