Portraits of Refugees Holding Their Most Precious Possessions

New York-based photographer Brian Sokol captures insightful portraits of Sudanese, Syrian, and Malian refugees who have unfortunately been forced to flee from their homes, grabbing what they could with them, in a series for the UN Refugee Agency called The Most Important Thing. The collection of black and white images present an eye-opening look into the lives of these people who have few possessions to call their own.

Sokol, who dedicates his time and efforts to documenting human rights issues, manages to encapsulate the devastating circumstances that these displaced people have been forced to endure while allowing viewers to reflect on their own good fortunes. Each individual in the series holds a precious possession, often a tool or container for survival or perhaps a token of spirituality, exemplifying their priorities and dire situations. Even the few that hold an accessory (like a watch), remind us that it is their one luxury item as they live in exile.

The insightful series provides a window for the world to view only a fraction of the plight of these refugees. In an effort to protect and support them in their time of need, the UN Refugee Agency accepts donations through their site.

Brian Sokol website
via [Visual News]


Pinar Noorata is the Managing Editor at My Modern Met. She is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Film and Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is an alumni of the Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program in NYC. She has worked at major TV, film, and publishing companies as well as other independent media businesses. When she isn’t writing, editing, or creating videos herself, Pinar enjoys watching movies, reading, crafting, drawing, and volunteering at her local animal shelter.
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