I went with him when he travelled back after it was all over and took a picture of him in the remains of his house which had been destroyed by the Serbs. It was a very moving experience.” His story also highlights a common misconception about asylum seekers. “Salim had actually been granted relief status so he could have stayed in England but repatriation never gets any coverage. The Right are always saying - why can’t you go back but many of them do.”
Another memorable picture for Davies was of a Rwandan boy called Nayisenge who was attacked in the revenge killings after the genocide. “He’d had his arm sliced off in one blow and he was so shocked he could no longer speak. People say ‘how can you take an image like that?’, but I wouldn’t have taken it without the permission of the family. In fact there was an older brother who didn’t want to be in the picture so he wasn’t in the frame.”
Do you feel a certain responsibility to the people’s whose tales you tell? “Well you have to be honest as a journalist and true to yourself. Of course there are times that I have thought that I probably shouldn’t have done something. But none of my pictures are constructed”. He pauses. “Most importantly you have to allow people to have dignity”. ER

Howard Davies will be present at the exhibition on Friday at 6.30pm to talk about his work. The event will be followed by a companion evening of music and poetry readings from Grace Nichols, John Agard and Lou Glandfield in the Chapel.

   


Howard accompanied Bosnian refugee Salim back to his
bomb-struck village. Copyright H Davies


Where?
Hibbert Room, Westgate Chapel
When? Exhibition Fri & Sat, poetry evening Sat 8pm
How Much? Free (Donations Welcome)
(w) Website