Africa. History. The things we won’t forget. After decades of brutal civil war that left millions dead and displaced, South Sudan is a country that has experienced its’ own share of pain and torment. For the child soldiers and refugees of the violence, all they have now are memories and a heart filled with hope that one day the country will find peace for the next generation of South Sudanese. American photographer Mike Mellia joined supermodel Nykhor Paul, Ajak Deng, Ataui Deng, Eligha Ojoko and other figures to turn the world’s attention to the crisis in South Sudan. With the help of moving and incredible images, Mike produced a series of images that allows us to connect more with not only each individual who have managed to escape the conflict in South Sudan but also to learn more about those who are still left in the war torn country. “Mike Mellia has joined supermodel Nykhor Paul and other figures to turn the world’s attention to the crisis in South Sudan. With the help of powerful, searing photographs, Mellia has produced a portrait of the anguish that haunts the lives of those South Sudanese who have managed to escape, and through them, of the lives of those they left behind… born of a desire to tell the story of South Sudan by moving beyond the limitations of the media through the raw and emotive power of art.” says ARTINFO.com. Check out a few images we got off Mike Mellia’s website:

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Above: Nykhor Paul is a supermodel, activist, and refugee who fled South Sudan to an Ethiopian refugee camp during the conflict in South Sudan. She immigrated to America at age 9, entered Nebraska foster care & was adopted by an American family. Nykhor has a strong passion for uniting South Sudanese women and people of all backgrounds to build a better South Sudan through her initiative “We Are Nilotic.”

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Above: Ajak Deng is a supermodel, activist, and refugee. At the age of 14, Ajak fled the violence of the Sudanese civil war with her 7 siblings and parents to a bordering Kenyan refugee camp. Her mother passed away from malaria before they were able to ultimately obtain refugee status in Australia. Ajak’s brothers and sisters are her inspiration for achieving progress in her country. Ajak Deng is now based in Australia.

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Above: Ataui Deng is supermodel and activist. Ataui was born in Sudan before immigrating to San Antonio, Texas, at the age of 13. Ataui is passionate about raising awareness for unity among all tribes, and uses her magnetic personality to inspire others to become involved.

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Above: Ger Duany is an actor, humanitarian, former child soldier, and refugee. Founder and executive director of the Pibor Foundation Non-Profit organization. Ger returned to South Sudan in 2011, on a search to reunite with his family, vote for the fist time, & rebuild his nation. Ger says, “I used an AK-47 before I learned to read or write.”

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Above: Eligha Ojoko is a supermodel, activist, and refugee. Born into a large family of 8 siblings in South Sudan, Eligha escaped the violence at the height of the civil war at an early age, moving through the Middle East and finally arriving in Pittsburgh. Eligha’s love for South Sudan is a captivating pull that unites her with other South Sudanese women to raise awareness for their cause.

To view the other 9 individuals featured in this photo exhibition, please visit Mike Mellia’s website below.

 

Website: www.mikemellia.com
Source: Mike Mellia