Survivor Stories from Syria
Filmed in Syria
Commissioned by Reuters News Agency
In April 2019, Mikel Konate reported on the personal stories of men, women and children in eastern Syria fleeing Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate in its final days. At al-Hol camp – which hosts more than 70,000 displaced people – infants are rushed from the battlefield to a crowded clinic where medical staff try to deliver required care. Those in critical condition travel two hours on a bumpy road to Hasaka hospital, which includes a makeshift ward for malnourished babies. While in the region, Konate gained the trust of those fleeing so their stories of suffering and survival could be shared widely. Among them, a Tajik man who fought with Islamic State and women who were married to Islamic State fighters. In Kobani, a town once besieged by Islamic State, Konate’s coverage focused on a community of Christians who had converted faith as a result of the fighting, including an interview with the founder of Kobani’s first evangelical church.
Mikel is a Spanish video journalist and filmmaker who has been involved in the media industry since 1999. In the last five years, his work has focused on migrations, humanitarian issues and conflicts and has been distributed by media organisations such as Reuters, The Associated Press, CNN, BBC, Euronews and La Sexta, among others. His footage has been used in numerous documentaries, particularly those related to migratory issues and conflicts.
“I thought it was really extraordinary footage, from the very starting shot there were some beautiful images. I think it really conveyed the human cost of war no matter which side you’re on.”