Refugee photos stun IVC

David Gutman

Photojournalist Brendan Bannon portrays to the world the plight of starving refugees in central Africa.

The photo collection is titled “Refugee” and is on display at Irvine Valley College’s Art Gallery.

Living in Nairobi, Kenya, Bannon prefers to live close to his work while also volunteering at refugee camps throughout Africa.

Bannon said whis interest in photography was sparked at an early age by his mother who was an amateur photographer.

After many small projects during high school and into college, he decided to make photography a career. His professional career started in 2000.

Bannon’s works have been featured in many prominent publications such as The New York Times, TIME magazine, Newsweek, Christian Science Monitor, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, Monocle Magazine, Kwani? magazine, Maclean’s, and many other publications from around the world.

Brendan has also worked with foundations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF, and CARE International.

When asked how he could retain his composure in such a harsh environment, Bannon describes his relationship with his mother, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He helped care for her.

“I don’t shy away from difficult stories. The experience of taking care of my mother showed me clearly that behind every moment of perceived suffering there is a profound victory over circumstances,” said Bannon. “I look at people’s lives as being full of meaningful relationships, striving against the odds and achieving small victories.”

The photographs from Refugee are displayed on the walls of the gallery. They feature many bitter photographs of the people living in the camps. These camps are spread out across central Africa, teeming with people who have been displaced by warfare, gang violence, and outbreaks of infections. Everywhere there are children separated from their mothers and wives separated from their husbands.

In the gallery the pictures are displayed in seemingly random order. There are brochures available that serve as a flow chart with detailed descriptions of each individual picture.

The most eye-catching display in the room is the television screen showing a collage of the photos taken during the assignment.

Bannon narrates the multimedia presentation, describing his experiences and the hardships of the subjects.

More of Bannon’s photos are available at This site has a collection of photographs taken from places in Africa and India.


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