RedLab provides analogical photography workshops to support mental health in refugee camps in Iraq.

Promoting mental and emotional health with self-directed photography.


People who live in refugee camps nearly always face stressful conditions. Those, combined with individual experienced traumas, lead to an unhealthy environment. Hence, most internal displaces people go through uneasiness and discomfort. Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support Programs try to relieve their suffering.

RedLab uses self-directed photography as a means of expression for people who have suffered from traumas, for people who are living in unprivileged social contexts as refugees camps and for economically disadvantaged youths. For each laboratory, RedLab supplies a functioning darkroom, cameras, and monthly providing of photographic films and paper. Through self-directed photography, participants are actively involved in a process of reconstructing the meanings of their experiences through different and creative language. In this project, photography facilitates self-narration and self-expression, effectively supporting individual well-being. Besides, photographic techniques use camera as a medium to construct individual representations, and also self-representation.

RedLab benefits mental and emotional health and a more general well-being for people living in the stressful condition of a refugee camp.



RedLab provides qualified photography courses. The laboratory is focused on analogical and creative photography, whose roots are to search in the surrealistic school. Those approaches have been chosen due to their characteristics which support self-realisation feelings.  


Our workshops are divided in different tasks. First of all, our staff create a permanent darkroom inside the camp. Usually, it is made inside containers. This space permits workshop participants to develop their own photos using a varied range of methods which are explored during the laboratory. 

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The laboratory's first step is to create cameras using old and reused materials such as recycled tin cans (yes, those common tomato sauce tins we are used to buy at the stores). These, through a pinhole system and some electrician tape, are transformed in actual cameras.


RedLab and its staff protect authors rights. All the original creations, photos and papers own to their creator and developers. Furthermore, the material you all can find on our website, events and books have been donated from their rightful owners to RedLab during the workshops.


What do we do

The RedLab team is actively working in Kurdistan, Iraq. At the moment our team is working in the IDP Camp of Bajed Kandala, where in August we have built both a temporary and a permanent darkroom inside the Medical Clinic containers. Our team is working to start the laboratory in other two places in North Iraq.

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Bajed Kandala, Iraq


Bajed Kandala is a Internal Displaced Persons Camp situated closer to the triangle of Iraqi, Syrian and Turkish borders in the Dohuk Governorate, in the North of Iraq. 

There, more than 11K Yezidi people are living in tends and poor conditions for over 4 years. On August, 3rd 2014 Daesh attacked the Sinjar province where mostly of the Yezidi were living. That has been condemned and recognised as the 74th Yezidi genocide in the history of their ethnic and religious community. The genocide resulted in a generalised trauma and an ongoing suffering for the people of the community, mostly of who have lost relatives during the attack and the followed flew on Mount Sinjar and whom relatives and friends are still classified as missing persons. 

In Bajed Kandala, our team work with Dr. Nemam and Joint Help for Kurdistan, the ONG which provides daily health and medical access for people from the camp. Moreover, JHK team support activities workshops, including English and sewing lessons.