The series of photographs documents refugees living in Switzerland with the most important object they managed to take with them
Gabriel Hill is a commercial portraiture photographer based in Basel, Switzerland, who usually pays the bills by taking headshots of bigwigs in the thriving pharmaceutical business. But a new personal passion project is fast finding a cult audience around the world. ImPortraits is a series of photos of people with very little, documenting refugees who escaped their countries carrying only a handful of essentials – or nothing at all.
With Hill’s studio located beside an accommodation centre for refugees in Switzerland, he was struck by the sight of men and women affected by different crises around the world. Wanting to help, he conceived the idea of an ongoing project which involves him taking photographs of refugees with their most precious object, more often than not the only one they managed to escape with.
You can look at some of the images from the ImPortraits project in the gallery below and find out more about the featured refugees' stories on the website:
Vinasithamby, 64 – fled from Sri Lanka in 1984 with pictures of his family
Yosief, 20 – fled from Eritrea in 2014 with a notebook of phone numbers
Taghi, 27 – fled from Iran in 2011 with three pictures of his family
Suleyman, 18 – fled from Afghanistan in 2014 with a mobile phone
Shireen, 21 – fled from Afghanistan in 2010 with a mobile phone
Marie-Therese, 62 – fled from DR Congo in 2008 with nothing
Nazim, 26 – fled from Afghanistan in 2011 with a little book from the police academy
Farhad, 27 – fled from Afghanistan in 2007 with a picture of his mother
Ahmet, 23 – fled from Eritrea in 2013 with a piece of paper with the number of his family
Sejla, 33 – fled Bosnia in 1992 with a bunny plush toy