Depicting the human side of war
Since 2012, visual journalist Khalil Ashawi has documented the ravages of war. He has reported on the ongoing, violent conflict in his native Syria, from where his own family was displaced during fighting in the eastern region.
While working for Reuters, Khalil was sometimes embedded with military personnel, capturing photos and videos from the frontlines. But seeing civilians impacted by war and conflict — particularly children — sparked a desire to tell a different kind of story. “Children are the biggest losers in this war,” Khalil says. “I wanted to focus on telling their stories and show the human side.”
In 2019, Khalil founded Frontline in Focus, an independent media agency that covers human interest stories in war and conflict zones. Based in Istanbul, Turkey, Khalil’s agency initially focused on the lives of Syrian families struggling to survive in war- and conflict-affected areas.
Khalil launched a YouTube channel and other social media to promote his agency’s work, marketing photos and videos to media outlets and nonprofits. As storytelling tools and technologies evolved, Khalil felt he could do even more to bring the harsh realities of life during wartime onto audiences’ screens.