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Peace in the Shadows

Eric Elmore | Turkey

Portrait of Muhammad Damour. He is director of fundraising and communications at the Selam Center. Muhammad fled to southern Turkey in late 2012 following 6 months of imprisonment by the Assad regime for his active and escalating participation in protest activity in Aleppo, Syria. He was among the first wave of Syrian refugees escaping north from the now decade-long civil and proxy war that has engulfed and devastated the nation. Under threat of retaliation from government security forces, his family followed him.

“Peace in the Shadows” is a photodocumentation of contradiction. It is attempt at illuminating, reducing, and reconciling the conflicts that perpetually reside within all of us.

Selam is Arabic for “peace”. The Selam Center exists as one of the largest Syrian orphanages in Turkey, as a refuge for peace in a region plagued by conflict for the most poignant victims of the war in Syria. It was founded and continues to be run by a family of Syrian refugees.

This is not a literal photojournalistic documentation of an unfamiliar, tragic story occurring in some foreign land way over there to others. The Selam Center is immersed in contradictions that are enduring, universal, and personal. The photos comprising this project illustrate these tensions...

Light versus darkness, community versus isolation, home versus foreign, peace versus turmoil, creation versus destruction, they versus us, seen versus invisible.

My hope for viewers is an elevated awareness of their own contradictions, their role in creating and perpetuating them, and that in working to resolve them so that some peace may emerge from their shadows.

I am an independent social documentary, portrait, and street photographer currently based in Phoenix, AZ. My creative and professional interests lie in photographing the difficult, the unconventional, and the unseen. My personality tends to be one of extremes. This inclination invites contradiction and fuels my fascination with it. This propensity simultaneously motivates my desire to ameliorate the conflict inherent within. As a documentary photographer, I am drawn to work produced by conflict, work that creates these internal tensions, and that which helps to assauge this them. I seek these contradictions in my photography. They are a source of coexisting inspiration and depletion. The high contrast black and white in which I work is both informed by and assists in conveying these conflicts. I believe in producing images with a conscience and purpose beyond himself. My hope is profound personal awareness & social change.

Eric Elmore


+1 480 758 1178


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