Refugees and mental health

World Cup 2018


The Arts

Politicians and Business

I'm Hackney

Age UK: I can see into your eyes

Refugees and mental health

displacement and suspension

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have crossed deserts, the snows of the Alps, or Balkan forests carrying the weight of similarly traumatic events, to find a new life in an increasingly inhospitable Europe. Once they get there – if they do – how do they begin to process the painful experiences that prompted their journeys?
Depression, PTSD, anxiety, self-harming, insomnia and panic attacks are among the growing mental health issues faced by asylum seekers who find themselves trapped in fear and uncertainty in Europe. In camps on the outskirts of major cities, or in safe houses, or on the pavements of European capitals, a million people await their destiny. Aid groups such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have been forced to step in to provide psychiatric care for this population of often highly disturbed people.

The sense of displacement and suspension are the main elements that come across when talking to any asylum seeker.
The uncertainty of their condition, the inability to work, to know if and when they will gather official documentation, to know if they could stay and settle or once again disappear in the shadow and continue their journey. Many have been talking about 'facing a second war', a physiological war, which is more complex than an actual one.

Commissioned by the Guardian and MSF I travelled to 4 different cities in Europe (Belgrade, Athens, Brussels and Gothenburg) focusing on the 'second stage' of the integration process. Rather than visiting camps I focused in big cities and met people that have been living in cities context for months or years

Moona, 33, Iran, Belgrade
Before undergoing gender reassignment surgery, Moona, 33, lived as a male professor in Iran. She was married and a had a daughter. Iran does not tolerate homosexuality, but it does allow its citizens to undergo state-subsidised gender reassignment surgery. At the beginning of 2015, tired of living as a man, Moona signed up. She was eventually fired and forced to leave the country in 2018. Tormented by panic and anxiety attacks, she now lives in a safe house for vulnerable people in Belgrade, Serbia

Moona, 33, Iran, Belgrade
Before undergoing gender reassignment surgery, Moona, 33, lived as a male professor in Iran. She was married and a had a daughter. Iran does not tolerate homosexuality, but it does allow its citizens to undergo state-subsidised gender reassignment surgery. At the beginning of 2015, tired of living as a man, Moona signed up. She was eventually fired and forced to leave the country in 2018. Tormented by panic and anxiety attacks, she now lives in a safe house for vulnerable people in Belgrade, Serbia

Asadi, 45, Iran, Belgrade
For two years, Asadi, 45, his wife, Latifa, 28, and their two children lived in a migrant camp in Bulgaria, where aid groups have repeatedly reported abuse and humiliation at the hands of the police. The family, who escaped Iran in 2015, eventually arrived in Serbia in 2018. Asadi began to suffer from a tremor in his hand. After a series of tests, the doctors diagnosed him with Parkinson’s disease. Asadi does not accept this diagnosis, and other doctors have not excluded the possibility it may be caused by stress

Ahmad, 16, Afghanistan, Belgrade
Ahmad fled Afghanistan as a child, after seeing his father murder his mother and sister. When he reached Iran, like many Afghan children he found himself homeless, and lived on the streets for two years. He arrived in Belgrade in 2018. He suffered from depression, self-harming and has tried to end his life a few times. He attends school and spends much of his time drawing the faces of the migrants he meets in the Médecins Sans Frontières clinic. His dream is to exhibit portraits in the city’s galleries

Azar, 16, Iran, Belgrade
Azar was separated from his father after they left Iran in 2018. ‘I’ve been through a lot, too much. My head is still dealing with many of the things I’ve seen.’ He tried to reach Croatia from Bosnia but was caught by the police. He ended up in Belgrade, Serbia, where he makes hamburgers on the street for €350 (£317) a month. His hair has begun to turn grey and he struggles to control his fits of rage

Arghavan, 46, Iran, Athens
Arghavan was part of a communist movement in Teheran and had to leave suddenly after her political leader was arrested. She hasn’t seen her son, who travelled with her before leaving for Germany, for a year, and her daughter for two years. Arghavan’s days are spent walking her dog, visiting an MSF doctor for the diabetes she has developed and attending monthly counselling sessions. ‘I wanted to be what I am, an atheist and a feminist, and all of that I found in communism,’ says the former driving instructor. ‘Today I feel like a mouse in a trap.’

Barshank and Pinar, Syrian, Athens.
They are two young Syrian Kurdish gay men, who were best friends in Syria, having grown up in the same small village. They lost touch when the war started and few years later they found each other in Athens, Greece

Maha, 23, Syria, Athens
Maha has three children, aged four, two and four months. She lives in Athens. A former nurse, Maha arrived in Greece ahead of her husband, Hussein. She may have escaped the bloody conflict that has engulfed her country but, 18 months after reaching Europe, she is still captive to it. ‘I feel as if I am living the war all over again, although this time it is a war that is fought within the four walls of my apartment, a psychological war that inhabits my mind.’ She plans to write a book about the suffering of refugees

Mohammed, 36, Afghanistan, Brussels
Suicidal thoughts have tormented Mohammed since he arrived in Belgium. He left his wife and two daughters in Afghanistan after his father-in-law, who did not approve of their marriage, killed his father and sister before his eyes. ‘They killed my family in the space of five minutes,’ he says. They would have killed him too, but he miraculously survived a bullet. Today, he lives in Brussels, but it is far from how he had imagined Europe. He says he was repeatedly beaten and stripped by Belgian and French policemen, and had a police dog set on him, to frighten him

Abdul Salam, 26, Yemen, Brussels
Abdul’s home city was destroyed by Saudi bombs, leaving him with nowhere to consider home. His extraordinary journey took him from Yemen to Malaysia, then on to Sudan, Armenia, Mali and Morocco. He was eventually transferred to Madrid and then in March 2018 arrived to the migrant camp on the outskirts of Brussels. He suffers from sleeping disorders and panic attacks. He has had one asylum request rejected and Belgium threatened to send him back to Spain. While he prepares to reapply, all he can do is walk the streets and wait for something to change

Muntaser, 30, Darfur, Brussels
Aged 13, Muntaser witnessed children and women being killed in front of him in Darfur. He was held in prison and tortured for months after being accused of supporting opposition forces. In March 2016 he left southern Sudan, crossed the desert and arrived in Libya. After some months, Muntaser boarded a dinghy bound for Sicily and then headed for the Alps. He suffers from PTSD and now lives in Brussels

Ridouane, Morocco, Brussels,
Rid is a gay young man from Morocco. He has been living and studying in Brussels for over 5 years and now he is still waiting for an official refugee status

Zekrollah, 20, Afghanistan
Two autumns ago, after hearing that Sweden was about to send thousands of Afghans home, Zekrollah left the migrants’ camp and headed for the woods, where he tried to kill himself. Zekrollah, Afghan-born but raised in Iran, left Tehran in 2013, when he was 14. His life since has become an ordeal. He was arrested because he didn’t have documents, beaten by the police and forced to clean the prison officers’ washroom. He crossed the Balkans, spending his nights in the woods. Since 2016, he has been waiting for Sweden to recognise his refugee status

World Cup 2018

the joy and despair in British living rooms

I spent the first 2 weeks of the World Cup travelling around England watching 13 games with as many different nationalities, capturing the joy and despair in British living rooms.
Definitely one of the nicest and joyful (intense at time) job ever done.
I’ve eaten a lot of crisps and beer, but also the traditional Brazilian dish of feijoada in north London, Mexican quesadillas and guacamole in Putney, Colombian arepas in Manchester and a lovely Moroccan tagine cooked on the barbecue in Letchworth.
I was sat with a fixed camera near the television screen and never asked anyone to pose. As soon as the match got under way, they forgot I was there.
Very few people left the room or changed positions throughout the game. They were glued to their chairs

England 6 Panama 1

Serbia 1 Costa Rica 0

Mexico 1 Germany 0

Mexico 1 Germany 0

Morocco 0 Iran 1

Brazil 1 Switzerland 1

Japan 2 Colombia 1

Japan 2 Colombia 1

Iran 0 Spain 1 (Iranian goal which moment after got disallowed)

Iran 0 Spain 1

France 1 Peru 0

Iceland 0 Nigeria 2

South Korea 1 Mexico 2

Senegal 2 Japan 2

Russia 3 Egypt 1

Colombia 3 Poland 0


Tom is singer-songwriter. His first album was one of the best selling debut albums in 2018.
He lived on Evering Road for a couple of years and has only recently moved out.
‘This is the road of love, heartbreak & redemption. It’s the place where I grew into the person I am now. My time here taught me a lot about how to act and how not to react in relationships and it will always have a massive place in my heart.
Today, I’m excited to announce that my new album, due in March next year, is titled Evering Road. The album sums up my time here. I wrote all the songs in between living here and moving out. The album is about redemption. I realised that I was the toxic one in the relationship and my songs are a long letter to say that I’m sorry and yet grateful for what I’ve had and experienced.
This road gave me confidence; it represented my creative space and it’s a great expression of East London.
It would be nice in the future to be able to recreate what I had here, but I don’t think I will ever be able to.
This is my favourite road in London

Taylor Swift

Jimmy Cliff, Strawberry Hill, Jamaica


John Cale artist and founding member of the Velvet Underground, in Venice

Kelly Jones, Stereophonics

Ernie Ranglin in his studio in Jamaica

Kaki King

Jason Pierce

Es Devlin, in her house

Shaggy, downtown Kingston, Jamaica

Laura Mvula at Glastonbury

Adele in her house

Suede frontman Brett Anderson at The Ministry of Sound

Wolf Alice at Reading Festival

Chris Blackwell founder of Island Records, photographed in Jamaica

William Basinski, musician, composer, at St John on Bethnal Green

The Arts

Gilbert and George, in their house in London

Tracey Emin, at Turner Contemporary, Margate

Lemn Sissay, author and broadcaster

Xiaolu Guo, writer

Saskia Reeves, actress, at the Barbican

Don McCullin, in his house

Irvine Welsh, writer

Sarah Lucas, artist, at the Venice Biennale

Jane Freud, artist

Dylan Moran, comedian

Will Gompertz, BBC arts correspondent

Marie O'Riordan, editor of Marie Claire

Nick Hornby at his studio in London

Daljit Nagra, poet

Peter Bowker, playwright and screenwriter, at Bafta HQ

Richard Bacon,TV presenter, in the Groucho Club in Soho

John Hannah, actor

Joseph Morpurgo, comedian

Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Presenter, at BBC Broadcasting House

Cary Elwes, actor

Lily Cole model, actress and broadcaster

Jokha Alharthi, 2019 Man Booker International prize winner. First female Omani novelist to be translated into English

poet Roger Robinson, 2020 TS Eliot prize-winner

Politicians and Business

Boris Johnson inside the underground RAF Operation Room

Chuka Umunna, labour politician Streatham constituency

Tessa Jowell, Labour Party

Zac Goldsmith, Conservative Party

Laura Parker, national organiser of Momentum

Cristiana Collu, Museum director

Elizabeth Louise "Liz" Kendall, Labour Party

Jeremy Hunt, Conservative Party

Emily Thornberry, Labour MP

Gina Miller at the Michelin House

Elena Panteoni, wine producer

Max Mosley in his London's house

Ken Livingstone, former mayor of London in his house

Cristiana Olevano, rice producer

I'm Hackney

I’ve lived in Hackney since 2003 when I moved to the UK and have witnessed its changes socially and structurally year by year. The gentrification of the city is especially visible in this part of town. The City is moving east, transforming its social and architectural fabric.

Hackney is divided into different sections, each sub-section so deeply disparate from the other. From Stamford Hill, with its Jewish community to Hackney Wick, where artists have transformed once empty warehouses into their studios. From Hackney Central, which lends itself to a great energy through its multiculturalism and diversity to the ‘cool and trendy’ Shoreditch. From the council estates of Hackney South and Homerton, to the new-builds for families in Stoke Newington and Lower Clapton.

London – like all major cities – never stands still, but the speed at which Hackney is transforming has been enhanced, thanks to the Olympics and new investment generated from the event. As a consequence, many people are destined to leave this part of town to move further east, but many other homeowners have seen their properties increase in value.

My project intends to photograph each sub-section to deconstruct Hackney and offer a voice to its residents. The borough, its architecture and atmosphere can be seen in the background, but the attention is focused on the people of Hackney, each photographed where I found them as a I rambled through this part of the world.


Twins born in Hackney


Alysha Joseph (31) with her 9 month old daughter
Born in Trinidad
Living in Hackney for 10 years


Mrs. Swollen (80)
From Ireland
17 years living in Hackney

Hackney Central

Milda Kuasausk Iene (7)
From Lithuania
Living in Hackney for 1 year

Hackney Central

Kaye (18)
Born in Hackney

Hackney South

Colin Roy Todd (34)
Born in Mansfield, UK
Living in Hackney for 3 years

Hackney South

Michael (40)
Born and bred in Hackney

Hackney South

Sarah Lugue (32) and Winston Francis (37)
She's from Spain and has lived in Hackney for 1 year
He was born in Newham and has lived in Hackney for 3 years

Hackney South

Vito (35)
Living in Hackney for 7 years

Hackney South

Simon Charles Randal (42)
From Leicestershire
Living in Hackney for 7 years

Hackney South

Anthony (19)
Born and bred in Hackney

Hackney South

Eroll (61)
Born and bred in Hackney

Hackney South

From Spain
Moved to Hackney a month ago

Lower Clapton

Veie Knight (54)
From Barbados
Living in Hackney for 4 years

Lower Clapton

Tony (47) and Jake Wilkinson
From Leeds
Living in Hackney for 17 years

London Fields

Irene (60) and Tayler (3)
From Hackney

London Fields

Jeanette Harman (68)
From Northhampton
Lived in Hackney all her life

London Fields

Tu (22)
From Sweden
10 months living in Hackney
Fashion student

London Fields

Tara Stout (40)
From UK
21 years living in Hackney


Z. Jacob (87)
From Antigua
60 years living in Hackney


Ka-sh (57)
From Ghana
20 years living in Hackney
Shop owner


Violeta Durand (30)
From Argentina
2 years living in Hackney


Amal (9)
From Mogadiscio, Somalia
3 days in Hackney

Lower Clapton

Danny (45), Leonard (51) and Daddy
From Jamaica
Danny 21 years living in Hackney, Leonard (a chef) 1 year & Daddy 30 years

Lower Clapton

Greg Hall (31)
From Hampshire
31 years living in Hackney
Bike courier

Hackney Wick

Tania Houghton (27)
From Norwich
Living in Hackney for 7 years

Hackney Wick

Frank (54) and Rosie (45)
He was born in Italy, she's from the UK
Living in Hackney for 24 and 54 years

Cafe owner

Hackney Wick

Amanda Maroulis (41)
From the UK
Living in Hackney for 24 years

Hackney Wick

Egle (23)
Born in Lithuania
Living in Hackney for 1 year

Stamford Hill

Chaim (25)
Born in Hackney

Age UK: I can see into your eyes

Client: Age Uk

The idea for this project came about when I was commissioned by Guardian News and Media to take portraits of older people in the King’s Cross area – Age Uk Camden is one of GNM’s local community partners. I was inspired by the hope and optimism of the people I met. My photographs are designed to challenge perceptions about the elderly, and show that older people can be glamorous, inspired, beautiful, and full of life.

In order to capture this optimism, I had the idea to photograph all of the subjects in studio conditions as if it were a fashion shoot. I asked all of the sitters to dress in their favourite clothes, I hired a make-up artist, and for the photograph I asked them to think about a really happy time or experience. The portraits are meant to be a playful take on the circularity of life.

I tried to create conditions that allowed my subjects to recapture, however fleetingly, the spontaneity and curiosity of a child. The background colours - the rose and pale blue - are intentional, an ironic reference to the fashion and advertising worlds. In other words, I tried to capture them in ideal conditions as they themselves would like to be seen. The 16 people I photographed were enthusiastic about the challenge, in the excitement is evident from the light in their eyes.

Edna Bulles

Robert Green

Beryl Elrith Joseph

Ian Haymlyin

Dolly O'Brien

Helen Pottock

Joan Henchy

Lawrence Campbell

Ronald Silrold

Laura Howard

Margaret (Peggy) Smith

Marie Smith-Laing

Megane O'Brien

Rufus Sealy

Willie Millar

Peggy Eileen Jacobs