celestehibbert Celeste Hibbert

Education: Central Saint Martins College, University of the Arts, London Goldsmiths College, University of London Published: The British Journal of Photography, The Guardian, Reuters, BBC, The Times, "Fast Track to Despair" Exhibitions/awards: Coombe Gallery, UK: Rising Stars 2010 Winner of the European Commission’s Picturehouse photography prize.

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Stuck: Life inside Greece’s refugee c...
Katsikas
By Celeste Hibbert
15 Sep 2018

Over 60,000 migrants are stuck in Greece. Fleeing war, recovering from torture, and seeking refuge – pregnant women, children and parents wait (and wait) for their asylum applications to be processed. But patience is growing thin. Many migrants were doctors, lawyers and engineers in their country. However, they are not allowed to move out of the camp until their asylum claim has been accepted, which can take years.

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Dying to Be White
By Celeste Hibbert
14 Feb 2014

River Road in downtown Nairobi is famous. It is a hub for cheap goods, budget brothels and petty crime. It is also known for skin bleaching “gurus” who promise clients their creams will make them look six years younger and ten shades lighter.

Rose* has been working in the skin lightening business for over five years. Operating from her minuscule cubicle along a bustling street, she offers a range of skin bleaching creams.

She also offers injections, but only to clients she trusts. Injecting is taboo and rarely discussed. “The injection lightens you from inside. It makes women clean,” she whispers. “If you want an even colour and fast results, injecting is much better than a cream.”

The injection is expensive at US$ 70 per shot, which is nearly a month’s salary for many Kenyans. “Most of my clients are wealthy and some are national celebrities. Many are from Somalia or India. But, those ones never come to my shop. They send a driver with a photo of their skin colour and I supply what they need.”

She laughs. “Some girls go back to their village and tell them the water of Nairobi made them lighter. There is great shame for wanting to change what God gave you.”

Rose carefully sucks a pink liquid into a needle, which is unpacked and brought from a local pharmacy. The product is from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, where skin lightening is also a big craze. It promises to show results within one - two weeks. “You must only use a small amount, otherwise you can become albino. This is strong stuff,” she says as the needle pricks her client’s skin. The product, which the manufacturer says is an “exfoliating pigment erasing solution which peels off rough/tough layers of skin”, is directly injected into the clients arm.

Mercy had always wanted lighter skin. “Nairobi is very competitive and Kenyan men like women with white skin. My husband prefers half-caste women to darker girls, and he is proud to be mine when we go to the club. I get far more male attention now I am lighter,” Mercy says whilst getting her injection.

Leading dermatologist Dr. Pranav says the vendors are seriously risking the health of their clients. “They promise the injection is safe, but it is not. These are unregulated products not known to certified professionals. They are packaged and marketed to look attractive, but anything could be inside. Injecting products with AHA is abnormal. It is can kill body tissue, cause serious infection and foreign body granuloma.”
  “It is illegal to for a non-medic to inject a client, but bribery allows the trade to continue.” 

Media created

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Stuck: Life inside Greece’s refugee c...
Katsikas
By Celeste Hibbert
11 Jun 2018

Whilst Europe obsesses over economic migrants and politics, thousands of children and families seeking genuine refugee are left abandoned on our shores. Leaving bloodshed, arriving to abandonment.

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Stuck: Life inside Greece’s refugee c...
Katsikas
By Celeste Hibbert
11 Jun 2018

Many large NGOs have left Greece, leaving volunteer-run organisations like Refugee Support to supply essentials. Yet funds are dwindling, and as more migrants arrive – like Kazia from Iraq pictured - without housing or food. “We do what we can", says Refugee Support Founder Paul Hutchings. “But Europe is failing in its moral obligation to give people the opportunity to rebuild their futures. That's not going to happen while they are stuck in refugee camps.”

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Stuck: Life inside Greece’s refugee c...
Katsikas
By Celeste Hibbert
14 Jun 2018

Whilst many have escaped war, and found safety, too many families face a new kind of danger: anxiety, confusion, depression and devastation. Last year, a migrant from this camp in Greece waiting for his asylum to be processed, killed himself. The Guardian also reported that at least three teenage refugees who arrived in Britain from camps have killed themselves in the past six months.

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Stuck: Life inside Greece’s refugee c...
Katsikas
By Celeste Hibbert
14 Jun 2018

Many families sleeping on the floor of a destitute school on the border with Albania are Kurds. Inhabiting a mountainous region straddling the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia, Kurds are the fourth largest ethnic group in the Middle East, but they have never been granted independence. Famed for their tough resilience, Kurdish militia groups continue to fight ISIS with the hope of recognition, and their own nation state. Instead, many are now displaced in Europe. This Kurdish boy is from Iraq, and restlessly waits for news of his mother and sister. They also fled Iraq, but went missing in the Turkish Maritsa river, and he doesn’t know if they made the journey….

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Stuck: Life inside Greece’s refugee c...
Katsikas
By Celeste Hibbert
13 Jun 2018

Greece houses migrants in abandoned fields, rural towns and even a disused music school – many migrants believe it is because the government wants to silence and hide them. In one container, 21 people share one tiny room. The U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) estimates nearly one in 100 people worldwide have been pushed out of their countries due to war or political instability. Many countries are unprepared for hosting and integrating refugees into society.

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Stuck: Life inside Greece’s refugee c...
Katsikas
By Celeste Hibbert
13 Jun 2018

Rania herself was shot in the knee as the fighting intensified. She shows a picture when she was at hospital. “I was pregnant, but I lost the baby because of the bombing and the shock.” Rania was a professional photographer in Syria, taking photos of weddings and parties before the war began. Now there are no parties. Her family have been living in tents and containers for almost four years. “I don’t even have money to get my knee properly treated so I can walk normally.”

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Stuck: Life inside Greece’s refugee c...
Katsikas
By Celeste Hibbert
13 Jun 2018

Rania’s husband was tortured in Syria. Accused of being a rebel, Assad’s government hung him for three hour each day, for six months in a 1 x1 metre cell with two other people. His shoulders have cracked, and he can’t carry his own child. “We had to sleep standing up, because there was no space. When you enter interrogation, you are totally naked, they told me I was part of a terrorist group. I didn’t do anything! People are dying and screaming in front of you. They hit you with electricity cables. The most difficult part is the hanging. You are blindfolded and lose consciousness.” Rania’s husband has found safety in Greece, but remains traumatized. “I just want to move on with my life, and help my wife and son – but we are stranded here with nothing.”

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Stuck: Life inside Greece’s refugee c...
Katsikas
By Celeste Hibbert
13 Jun 2018

His son plays with his prosthetic leg. The prosthetic is painful to wear: “It hurts my leg. I can’t walk properly, because the plastic is breaking. It is scarring the remaining part of my leg.” When it rains, his plastic leg fills with water.

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Stuck: Life inside Greece’s refugee c...
Katsikas
By Celeste Hibbert
13 Jun 2018

Musham was selling potatoes, when a Russian airstrike bombed the market where he worked. 57 people died, and 75 were wounded, including many of his friends in what he calls a “massacre.” He lost his leg. “My wife ran out of the house barefoot with our two babies to find me,” he recalls.

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Stuck: Life inside Greece’s refugee c...
Katsikas
By Celeste Hibbert
12 Jun 2018

Thousands of migrant children are not in school - an entire generation, listless and lost. Mona’s family fled ISIS in Iraq. She has never been to school. “I was given a school bag, but we have no teachers,” she says quietly. There is no policy or focus allowing for children to continue their education and Greek schools are underfunded, and can’t accommodate language barriers and children who have psychological difficulties due to war.

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Stuck: Life inside Greece’s refugee c...
Katsikas
By Celeste Hibbert
13 Jun 2018

Musham’s son is four years old, and hasn’t spoken for over six months. He refuses to talk, or eat. His father mimics a plane exploding: “He is scared, of the bombs.” They fled Aleppo, a key battleground of the civil war. Many neighbourhoods have been completed destroyed. Most of the city lies in rubble.

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Stuck: Life inside Greece’s refugee c...
Katsikas
By Celeste Hibbert
11 Jun 2018

Over 60,000 migrants are stuck in Greece. Fleeing war, recovering from torture, and seeking refuge – pregnant women, children and parents wait (and wait) for their asylum applications to be processed. But patience is growing thin. Many migrants were doctors, lawyers and engineers in their country. However, they are not allowed to move out of the camp until their asylum claim has been accepted, which can take years.

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Dying to Be White 2
Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
16 Feb 2014

Small cubicles line River Road in downtown Nairobi with "whitening experts" promoting lighter skin.

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Dying to Be White 7
Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
16 Feb 2014

Mercy receives her first skin whitening injection. "My husband is always looking at lighter girls. Nairobi is competitive and I need to keep my husband wanting me," she says.

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Dying to Be White 3
Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
16 Feb 2014

28 year old Mercy takes her first injection of a skin whitening peel.

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Dying to Be White 4
Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
16 Feb 2014

Mercy shows her naturally dark knuckles, compared to the rest of her bleached skin. "That is why I want the injection, for an even color. The bleaching creams don't work on the knees, knuckles and elbows."

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Dying to Be White 11
Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
16 Feb 2014

The needle is passed through many ungloved hands before it reaches the client.

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Dying to Be White 1
Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
17 Feb 2014

River Road in downtown Nairobi is famous. It is a hub for cheap goods, budget brothels and petty crime. It is also known for skin bleaching “gurus” who promise clients their creams will make them look six years younger and ten shades lighter. Rose has been working in the skin lightening business for over five years.

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Dying to Be White 5
Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
16 Feb 2014

The injection is administered by local "skin bleaching experts" who buy an unwrapped needle from the local chemist.

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Dying to Be White 6
Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
16 Feb 2014

Vendor Rose shows how bleaching has caused hard, dark skin pigmentation on her elbows. Yet she is convinced bleaching is safe, "even pregnant women come and get injected to make themselves clean."

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Dying to Be White 8
Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
16 Feb 2014

Skin lightening liquid is sucked into the needle.

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Dying to Be White 9
Nairobi, Kenya
By Celeste Hibbert
16 Feb 2014

The product, which the manufacturer says is an “exfoliating pigment erasing solution which peels off rough/tough layers of skin”, is directly injected into the clients arm. Flori's Duo is imported from Congo and originally from Cameroon.

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The West Bank 19
Hebron, Palestine
By Celeste Hibbert
31 Dec 2012

Young Israeli soldiers guard Jewish "zones" in Hebron.

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The West Bank 18
Hebron, Palestine
By Celeste Hibbert
31 Dec 2012

Palestinian woman waits at an Israeli checkpoint. Hebron is heavily guarded by Israeli soldiers to "protect" Jewish settlements.

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The West Bank 16
Hebron, Palestine
By Celeste Hibbert
31 Dec 2012

Young Israeli soldiers guard Jewish quarters.

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The West Bank 10
Nablus, Palestine
By Celeste Hibbert
31 Dec 2012

"We do not have weapons. We can only use our bodies."

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The West Bank 11
Palestine
By Celeste Hibbert
31 Dec 2012

Many young Palestinians were born into oppression. This generates a dangerous cycle of violence: "We have tried to talk, tried to negotiate. It has failed. Fighting back is the only answer to freedom"

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The West Bank 13
Nablus, Palestine
By Celeste Hibbert
31 Dec 2012

A kindergarten playground is used as a graveyard. "The people buried here are fathers or brothers of the children in the school. They died because of Israeli mortars. We have no where else to bury them."

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The West Bank 17
Nablus, Palestine
By Celeste Hibbert
31 Dec 2012

Palestinian girl walks through Nablus refugee camp.

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The West Bank 7
Palestine
By Celeste Hibbert
31 Dec 2012

Palestine was famous for its beautiful Souks selling Arabic sweets, handcraft leather and cotton goods

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The West Bank 5
Jerusalem,Palestine
By Celeste Hibbert
31 Dec 2012

Many Palestinian traders have lost business because of the conflict. A Muslim Palestinian woman sells Christian souvenirs in Jerusalem

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The West Bank 8
Hebron, Palestine
By Celeste Hibbert
31 Dec 2012

Conscription exists in Israel for all citizens over the age of 18. The normal length of compulsory service is currently three years for men and two years for women.

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The West Bank 9
Palestine
By Celeste Hibbert
31 Dec 2012

Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian at a West Bank checkpoint in November 2013. Ten Palestinians have been shot dead in the occupied West Bank by Israeli troops and three Israelis have been killed since Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking resumed in July following a three-year freeze.

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The West Bank 20
Palestine
By Celeste Hibbert
31 Dec 2012

In 2011, there were over 500 Israeli documented roadblocks and checkpoints obstructing Palestinian movement in the West Bank.

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The West Bank 21
Palestine
By Celeste Hibbert
31 Dec 2012

The Oslo II Accord divided the West Bank into three administrative divisions: the Areas A, B and C. Area A is ruled by the Palestinian Authority and has no Israeli settlements. Entry into this area is forbidden to all Israeli citizens. The Israel Defense Forces occasionally enters the area to conduct raids.

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The West Bank 4
Hebron, Palestine.
By Celeste Hibbert
31 Dec 2012

Palestinian shops & markets have been forced to close if they are in close proximity to Jewish settlements.