Originally from Cardiff but now based in Brighton, Russell Watkins has been producing photography and multimedia for over 15 years. Since 2008, he has worked for the Department for International Development (DFID), documenting the impact of the UK’s overseas aid in developing countries around the world.
In this time, he has worked on humanitarian and conflict stories ranging from the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka to the ongoing conflicts in Gaza, Iraq, South Sudan and Syria, as well as covering natural disasters in Haiti, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines and development issues in countries including India, DRC, Nigeria and Tanzania.
Over the past 4 years, much of his work has been focused on Syria, and on how the UK is helping people who have been displaced from their homes as a result of the fighting. He has made a number of visits to both Jordan and Lebanon, which between them are now hosting well in excess of 2 million Syrian refugees – documenting how UK aid is helping people who are living in formal refugee camps as well those living in informal camps and urban areas. In October 2016, Russell exhibited some of his photographs of Syrian refugees as part of the Brighton Photo Fringe. He will be presenting some of these images during his talk, discussing some of the challenges of photographing people who have been displaced by conflict, and some of the issues raised by the act of subsequently exhibiting them.
You can see more of Russell’s work on his website.