Russell ChapmanRussell Chapman is a freelance photographer and writer. Originally from the UK, he is now based in Switzerland. He is well versed in Middle Eastern and Russian affairs. Using photography he tries to communicate strong messages and emotions in a way which will have a lasting impact on those who observe his work. His writing is based on a perspective that tries to look at events from different angles which are not always covered elsewhere.

He is recognized for his work in Syria, having been invited to present at international conferences such as Refugee Voices at the Refugee Studies Centre at St Annes College, Oxford University and Franklin University, Switzerland. His work was also exhibited at the Conference on Forced Migration in Washington DC.

The book, Syria: Refugees and Rebels, is a personal account documenting Chapman’s time in Syria in the Spring of 2013, as well as the refugee camps of Lebanon and Jordan. In it, he talks about his experiences of this war torn country but the main focus is on his photo documentary of what he saw.

He went to Syria because he wanted to better understand what is really happening. His Syrian friends told him that only a part of the full picture is given in the news. The only way to get the full pictures was to go there himself. Over the course of the month that he was in Syria, he saw for himself the effects of the war on the people, his book is very much a reflection of that. Telling the story of a people who have lost so much, those who remain in the country and those who have fled to refugee camps.

His approach to photographing the situation was not that of the hit and run style, but rather, a more thoughtful approach. He spent a lot of time with the Syrian people, getting to know them better and in so doing, discovered that they were prepared to really open up to him and share their personal stories. As a result, the images he captured show more of the soul of the people rather than simply focusing on their distressed situation.

All the time he was on this project he lived as the people, he even spent a night in a refugee camp in Jordan to try and understand on some small scale what these people have to live with every day. His interest in Syria is very much humanitarian, the purpose of his work and his book specifically, is to show the real people, the fact that they are the same as people everywhere. They have the same hopes and dreams, the desire for security, a home, work and family. Simply because they are living through this terrible time does not make them somehow less than we who do not have these problems.

Before going to Syria, Chapman was able to raise money to buy medicines to help the Syrians. His desire is to continue this work, sales of the book go toward Chapman continuing, in his own small way, his work of giving a voice to those who have lost so much, as well as trying to help them directly.


56 thoughts on “About

    • Thanks. This site is more about my exhibitions. My general photography is on my Flickr site. It is clear that you get a real connection with people when you photograph them. Really shows in your work.

  1. love this quote “the greater satisfaction comes from slowing down and really thinking about what you are doing.” I’ve been doing photography as a hobby (amateur and self-taught), for about a year now and it has opened up a whole new world to me.

  2. Respects and Kudos Russell for your exquisite photography (^_^). Even more so, for your potent and poignant photographs portraying Syria and the Syrians, – who are in our hearts, prayers and thoughts – as they pictorially express what mere words cannot, and when they fail to do so.


  3. Just happened to run into your blog. You have got a beautiful space running here. Loved some of your write-ups. Its very subtle . I guess I will be hanging around here a lot. 🙂 Your vision and thoughts are indeed a revelation. Great work. Keep blogging.

  4. Pingback: Russell Chapman, “Syria, refugees & rebels”: un libro-testimonianza per immagini sul conflitto in Siria |

  5. Pingback: Russell Chapman, “Syria, refugees & rebels”: un libro-testimonianza per immagini sul conflitto in Siria |

    • Thanks for the compliments. I really like your country, everybody is very friendly and the food is great 🙂 One question though, would it be correct to say that the unofficial economy is much larger than the official economy? It was just an impression I had.

      • Of course it is, and that’s one of the problems. And now, as they’re finding it difficult to crack down on that, the people who were already paying and declaring are taxed so much more they’re on their knees… Supposedly they are cracking down tho. Let’s see. One must remain hopeful

  6. Pingback: Ter informatie, vorm uw mening – tibaert

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