Convinced of the power of image to effect social change, the photojournalist Reza has consistently worked to empower people in vulnerable situations by his time creating training programs of various types throughout the world. In December 2013, Reza traveled to a Syrian refugee camp located in Iraqi Kurdistan as part of reportage commissioned by French German TV Arte. He established a photography workshop for children of the Kawergosk refugee camp aged from ten to fifteen years old. That project birthed what is now Exile Voices, where Reza provides workshops for youths in refugee camps, and later Urban Voices, which addresses young people living in difficult suburbs or inner cities throughout the world.
He designed the project and maintains it with the help of his team at Reza Visual Academy, a non-profit organisation based in Paris. He regularly goes to project sites to encourage and motivate youth.
The Exile Voices project had a second training in workshop in Kabarto and another one in Arbat. Since 2013, more than 60 children have been trained in the language of image.
The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute will show some of the pictures taken by Syrian refugee children from Kawergosk camp in Iraqi Kurdistan during the Rhodes Forum, happening from 5-6 October 2018 on the Greek island. They have been part of exhibitions presented in several locations, including Duhok University (Iraqi Kurdistan), the banks of the Seine river in Paris, and at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels.
First convened in 2003, the Dialogue of Civilizations Rhodes Forum brings together concerned members of the international political, business, civil society, and academic communities in a spirit of dialogue and inclusivity. Every year, hundreds of participants from more than 70 countries explore the major challenges facing the world and seek concrete, applicable solutions rooted in shared values of equality, mutual respect, and compassion.
The DOC is an independent research institute whose mission is to promote mutual understanding, inclusive development, and equitable dialogue. It seeks to develop policy proposals based on scientific research that address key challenges faced by the international community, from infrastructure underdevelopment and economic inequality to civilisational and religious tensions and conflicts.