One of the world’s leading photojournalists has expressed his support for the Many Happy Returns (MHR) campaign at www.manyhappyreturnsidp.com.
New York-based Ed Kashi has spent the last 30 years photographing the human impact of conflict around the world. He is the Co-Founder of the VII Photo Agency, and his work has been published in the National Geographic, Newsweek, Time and The New York Times, amongst other leading publications.
Ed was the winner of the World Press Photo competition in 2011, and in 2010 won both the UNICEF Photo of the Year award and the Prize Pictet, a global photographic prize. His seven books of photographs have been distributed across the world, and Photojournalism – his latest publication – is the definitive reference book on the subject.
Ed recently documented the difficult lives of Azerbaijani IDPs and refugees in four camps for a project entitled Unresolved Dreams. He remarked: “I’ve seen this in person – a truly heartbreaking situation. Good idea to run a campaign highlighting the IDPs’ plight. Wish you all the best.”
This UK-based MHR initiative is aimed at raising awareness of the ongoing plight of the estimated 875,000 Azerbaijani internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees who are the victims of the Armenian–Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
The title of the campaign is based on the English birthday greeting ‘Many Happy Returns’ which, in this case, also refers to the wish of the Azerbaijani IDPs and refugees to return to their rightful homeland. The website features photos of IDPs in just three of the camps spread across the 76 regions of Azerbaijan, taken by the renowned German photographer Philipp Rathmer.
Despite a ceasefire being called 20 years ago, and four UN Security Council resolutions being passed against the illegal Armenian occupation, those whose land was seized remain unable to go home.
The MHR website also gives members of the public the opportunity to pledge their support for a campaign to redesignate ‘UN World Refugee Day’ as ‘World Refugee and IDP Day’.