@noralorek

Nora Lorek

For more of the @milayaproject and the @natgeo story follow the link. Info on South Sudan and how to help: @theirc Represented by @panospictures

http://www.noralorek.com/

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Soon, we’ll launch a Kickstarter for the @milayaproject, a non-profit that will connect South Sudanese women with customers who want to buy hand-embroidered pillowcases, bedspreads, and wall hangings. Life was good in South Sudan for cousins Margret and Silvia. Margret’s dad was a schools’ inspector and Silvia’s farmed and preached. Now, their parents weigh whether to go back to a country where life is dangerous but they can make a living, or stay in the safety of the camp with nothing to do. The civil war in South Sudan has displaced two million people. When refugees arrived to Uganda they carried their only possessions wrapped in milayas - ornately embroidered sheets that have been passed down for generations. Today, in Bidibidi, the second largest refugee camp in the world, milayas are still being sewn. But there are few customers. The Milaya Project is a non-profit that will connect South Sudanese women with customers who want to support the traditional artform. A Kickstarter will fund women’s collectives in Bidibidi to expand their businesses and sell embroidered pillowcases, bedspreads, and wall hangings internationally. Photo by @noralorek text by @ninasabina24

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Soon, we’ll launch a Kickstarter for the @milayaproject, a non-profit that will connect South Sudanese women with customers who want to buy hand-embroidered pillowcases, bedspreads, and wall hangings. Seventeen-year-old Besta Selwa took her brothers and sisters and fled South Sudan when the fighting started. They had already lost their father and had to leave their mother. The schools in the camp are overcrowded and ill-equipped, but she continues studying with the hopes of becoming an accountant. The civil war in South Sudan has displaced two million people. When refugees arrived to Uganda they carried their only possessions wrapped in milayas—ornately embroidered sheets that have been passed down for generations. Today, in Bidibidi, the second largest refugee camp in the world, milayas are still being sewn. But there are few customers. The Milaya Project is a non-profit that will connect South Sudanese women with customers who want to support the traditional artform. A Kickstarter will fund women’s collectives in Bidibidi to expand their businesses and sell embroidered pillowcases, bedspreads, and wall hangings internationally. Photo by @noralorek text by @ninasabina24

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My home with a cat I wish was real and some frames from a roll expired in ‘92, the year I was born.

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Sometimes I’m afraid of looking at old pictures, realizing that time has flown by. Like with this one, taken at Leslie’s place in DC in late summer 2017. She is one of the wonderful people who let me stay at their place when I was in town for my internship at National Geographic. Somehow 2018 became the first year I stopped stressing out over time and analyzing how much or little I’ve done in a month, week or day. Such nonsense to compare an 18 hours working day in Uganda with a snowy day in Sweden filled with nothing else but drinking coffee, paying bills and procrastinating by watching another Netflix documentary. Today is Leslie’s birthday so; happy birthday! Let’s spend our days on celebrating all the amazing people who bring joy into our life!

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I love to buy cheap expired film and shoot as I used to do as a kid; without a certain goal or the hope for perfection. When living in a country like Sweden it’s not that difficult to work with something you love. But growing up surrounded with amazingly talented people who inspire me, I often find it hard to love the final result of the work I do. In the end, the people I meet and memories of the stories always feel stronger than anything I could capture. But hey, all I have is pictures, so they simply have to be good enough. So when getting stuck in overanalyzing my work it’s great to just take a cheap camera, a roll of film expired in ’92 and shoot as I used to do.

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Rose Apai (61) is sitting at the Siona Church near her home in Bidibidi. Here they’re meeting for services and arrange days for women groups, helping each other in starting a business or to talk about the difficulties at home or memories of war. Like many other women, Rose Apai is here on her own and taking care of her grandchildren whose father is still in South Sudan and trying to find work. 
Bidibidi in northwestern Uganda is with its more than 270 000 displaced people, considered one of the worlds largest refugee settlements.

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The future soccer stars of South Sudan and Uganda are playing on one of the many fields in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. According to UNHCR 60% of the refugees fleeing South Sudan are children. Like in all Ugandas refugee settlements the young population in Bidibidi is very high; many classes have up to 250 pupils and big families are growing for each time a child loses its parents and is taken care of by others. Bidibidi is with its more than 270 000 people considered one of the worlds largest refugee settlements.

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Simon Ayole, 13 years old, is holding up a motorcycle driver made out of clay in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement. According to UNHCR 60% of the refugees fleeing South Sudan are children. Like in all Ugandas refugee settlements the young population in Bidibidi is very high; many classes have up to 250 pupils and big families are growing for each time a child loses its parents and is taken care of by others. Leaving their home during shootings and without bringing anything these self made phones, trucks or dolls out of clay become their only toys. On assignment for @natgeo Sep-Oct 2018

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Patrick Papa, 12, is working in a shop on his aunt Ronas plot in Bidibidi. In the second picture you see Roda with her five children and her nephew Patrick. Home in South Sudan she was running a big food store but lost her savings to the rebels on the way to Uganda. ”My oldest son should be in school but he’s been sitting at home for two years since there are no more classes in Bidibidi and I can’t afford the school fee. Home he would have a job or be able to go to university.” Roda told me in February 2018. In October she managed to sell some bedsheets called Milaya and used the money to send her son back to school.

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Have you ever wondered how to work with video when always being surrounded by 20+ kids asking for their photo to be taken? Asha is not only an amazing hard working mother, student and translator but also, like Nina wrote in the latest @natgeo story, seems to be related to half the camp. ______ Since Asha came to Bidibidi in 2016 she had been translating for NGOs a couple of times. So in summer last year I drove down to her plot to see if she wanted to work with me on my first @natgeo piece. ______ More than a year later we got to work together again, here at the last day of the recent project I Bidibidi. Having a bunch of happy kids around is as wonderful as exhausting. I’m amazed by all the strong mothers I’ve meet in the refugee settlement and by the joyful kids themself. How they ,the moment Asha tells them, line up to watch whatever I’m taking pictures of or am filming, to seconds later proudly pose for a group photo, watch the picture and then run off to continue playing.

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James Lokusan, 10, holds a truck he made out of a box from the food distribution. For more pictures from the new  @natgeo feature and a great text by  @ninasabina24 check out the Toy story.  ______ In Bidibidi, a remote refugee settlement in Uganda, South Sudanese kids create their own entertainment from mud, paper, and plastic. Here cardboard boxes from shipments of humanitarian supplies get a second chance as toy cars, trucks, and buses.  ______ These kids would have been the first generation to grow up in an independent South Sudan, if war hadn’t so quickly dispelled them. Today, more than 1 million children have fled the country, building new lives in refugee camps scattered in Uganda and other neighbors of South Sudan. Even in the most remote places, kids learn how to entertain themselves and for the nearly 200,000 children living in Bidibidi the malleable red dirt provides something to play with.

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Isaac Lemi, 13, holds a toy bus he made out of a box from the World Food Program. For more pictures from the new @natgeo feature and a great text by @ninasabina24 check out the Toy story. ______ In Bidibidi, a remote refugee settlement in Uganda, South Sudanese kids create their own entertainment from mud, paper, and plastic. Here cardboard boxes from shipments of humanitarian supplies get a second chance as toy cars, trucks, and buses. ______ These kids would have been the first generation to grow up in an independent South Sudan, if war hadn’t so quickly dispelled them. Today, more than 1 million children have fled the country, building new lives in refugee camps scattered in Uganda and other neighbors of South Sudan. Even in the most remote places, kids learn how to entertain themselves and for the nearly 200,000 children living in Bidibidi the malleable red dirt provides something to play with.

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