The UNHCR estimates there are over 70 million people displaced by conflict and famine world wide. Left stateless, the majority of those individuals have been living in the shadows of their host societies for decades, unable to find affordable housing and the ability to work. The following essay is a 4 year investigation into lives built in the aftermath. The project follows families in an abandoned Soviet military hospital on the outskirts of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi, the infamous Shatilla camp in the center of Beirut, informal camps along the Lebanese- Syrian border, and the separatist region of Abkhazia along the Georgian - Russian border. The stories shared here are representative of millions living across our planet, whole communities who have risen up in the aftermath. 

Pigeons circle the sky above the Shatila Refugee Camp in the center of Beirut. As the sun sets, the call to prayer rings out across the Mediterranean and a quiet calm falls upon the neighborhood, home to 20,000 men women and children.

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Palestinians host displaced Syrians for Iftar during the holy month of Ramadan. The camp has struggled to accommodate an influx of refugees from camps destroyed in Syria by the Assad Regime.

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Palestinians serve displaced Syrians during the holy month of Ramadan. 

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Matiko Pirtskhulava, aged 46, stands in her two-room unit. She lives alone while her two teenage children attend a seminary. In the building there are many women who live by themselves or with children, some have been widowed and subsequently left homeless

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Maia Daiauri, aged 45, works to turn one of the rooms in the former hospital into a liveable space. All of the occupied rooms have windows, and almost all of the residents have a small gas canister and burner to cook on. As one resident says: "We don't have much, all we have is each other."

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A resident stands in her apartment she converted from a former hospital room

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"We do not live here, we only survive"

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A view of Tbilisi from the 7th floor of the abandoned hospital, home to over 100 families.

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Children leave school around 5th grade and begin work to help support the family 

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A young man in his apartment in Tbilisi

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An Orthodox Christian shrine in a resident's room.

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A resident of the building discusses the hardships of living alone after the passing of her husband.

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"I do not feel like I am a part of [Georgian] society." Many residents feel they have been overlooked by modern society, and watch while the echoes of Georgia's past crumble before their eyes.

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A conch shell serves as shelter to a lone minnow in a resident's apartment.

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A man takes an afternoon nap in his apartment after a traditional Georgian meal.

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Kyeong Seon Bong, 85 years old. Defected from North Korea when she was 18 after refusing to join the communist party. She has lived and farmed on this piece of land ever since. 

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Most of the residents rely on state benefits. They prefer to spend the 300 Lari (£97.99) they receive each month on food, rather than use it to rent poor-quality housing, and they avoid taking official jobs for fear of losing this cash lifeline.

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Government assistance ranges from 45-60 Lari per month ($18 - $25 ), forcing many to choose between paying rent or saving the money for food.

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A man reminisces about his home in Abkhazia in his tent on the outskirts of Tbilisi.

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A young woman, bed ridden from an undiagnosed illness, sits in her room in an abandoned Soviet Military hospital in Tbilisi. 

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A moment of light during a soccer match in the Shatila camp. 

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Razan, 21, fixes her hair in her family’s apartment building. She works as a hair dresser in Beirut but was stopped from doing so by the authorities for being Palestinian.

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Amman, 4, stands next to a portrait of his brother who died in an electrical fire in the room he shares with his father and sister .

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A woman recalls her life back in Abkhazia.

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Old medical record from the Soviet military hospital. 

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Miguel is originally from Somalia and lives in Tbilisi and is considered stateless. Without a passport he is unable to leave the country and has lack of access to basic services. 

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Life persists in a bullet riddled cafe in the port city of Sukhumi.

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Villagers from the besieged village of Raqqa harvest onions in a field in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. On May 12th 2018, the Assad regime enacted law 10, stipulating anyone who had fled the country would have their land forfeited to the government.

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Students assent a light house on the Black sea port of Sechumi.

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A Palestinian woman stands in her room after reminiscing before forced from Palestine. 

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A view from an abandoned light house, once a snipers nest.

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A young boy plays with a toy gun in the Shatilla Refugee Camp. Education and food are provided by outside aid organizations, and Palestinians are barred from working outside the camp.

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Students from the local university lead an Abkhazia themed scavenger hunt around the port town of Sukhumi. 

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Hari Krishna along the promenade of the port city of Sukhumi. 

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Spectators view a singing competition along the water front in Sechumi, a small port village in the Abkhaz Territory along the Black Sea. Residents of Abkhazia are considered Stateless, and are only recognized by Venezuela and Russia.

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Abkhaz nationals pay respects during a ceremony celebrating the birthday of the territories first president.

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A group of college students along the promenade in Sukhumi. Originally from Syria, they took refuge in Abkhazia during the start of the war.

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Children play on a rooftop in the Shatilla Refugee camp. 

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A woman cleans outside her tent in an informal camp in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

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Children play with firecrackers in the Shatilla camp in the heart of Beirut. 

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Members of the Palestinian youth soccer league practice before a game. 

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A view of an abandoned Soviet Military hospital home to over 100 stateless families in the Republic of Georgia. 

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