top of page

Material Matters

Material Matters is a visual exploration of construction materials used in refugee camps. The series highlights the serious lack of adequate building materials, and illustrates the creativity and traditional craftsmanship applied to fill that gap.

Building houses with the materials at hand is part of the traditional life as nomadic pastoralists  -- a life many refugees lived before fleeing to Ethiopia. Usually, the Aqal, the traditional Somali round house is built by women, while the men gather the natural construction materials. In the Dollo Ado camps, most families live in so-called 'transitional shelters', built out of bamboo and metal sheets. Dust storms, heat, insects, and heavy rainfall wear down the material in no time. Due to the lack of alternative materials, people have to use sheets with the logos of humanitarian organisations printed on.

Photography - Raphael Bradenbrink

bottom of page