The Inside-Outside Project

…A boat trip from Turkey, across the Aegean Sea to Greece; from there, over land to Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, and if all went well, finally into Germany, or perhaps Sweden where most refugees believe that support and jobs will be easiest to find. Some make it to their final destination, but others are trapped in wretched camps at newly fortified borders, stuck in limbo….

From April until June of 2017, the Inside-Outside Project is setting out to follow the paths of the refugees on their way to find a new home. We begin in Turkey and end in Holland, following the route of the refugees and stopping in each country along the way.

Last time, we met refugee children who had just found safety. This time, we document what it is to be a refugee child on the move. The “Inside” is seen in the artwork created in art therapy-inspired classes. The “Outside” is shown with dignified, formal photographic portraits.

It is a unique way to show the effects of war and exodus on children.

The Route of the Inside-Outside Project

The Team

David Gross

David is a journalist and award winning photographer with 19 years of experience covering stories from mass graves in post-war Kosovo to juvenile prisons in California. His work on mass graves in Kosovo won the prestigious World Press Photo award in 2003. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he studied print reporting, radio, and photojournalism, with additional studies at the Human Rights Center in war, post-conflict, and international human rights. He has published in major European and American magazines and newspapers.

Mieke Strand

Mieke is a portrait and documentary photographer who looks for the simple, uncomplicated essence of humanity in her subjects. She has worked in locations ranging from San Francisco, California, to the heart of Botswana in sub-Saharan Africa. Mieke studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Design while completing a bachelor’s degree with honors in Visual Arts at Brown University. In addition, she holds master’s degrees in both Art History (U.C.S.B.) and Architecture (U.C. Berkeley).

Press & Publicity


  • Seeing a young Syrian refugee portrayed in the style of a Rembrandt paintingis a visual break from the conflict images we’re used to. For photographer David Gross, that’s the point. Article

    National Geographic Proof
  • They wanted to reach past the immediately visible, the “outside,” revealing the deeper impact that the Syrian civil war has had on these children. “I realized drawing was a way to show the one thing that photographers can only imply: the psychology of our subjects,” says Gross. Article

    Wire Service Photo Agency
  • «Ces dessins d’enfants, «captés» par le journaliste américain David Gross, révèlent une vision originale, et déchirante, de la guerre en Syrie, qui a fait plus de 191 000 morts et 3 millions de réfugiés, en trois ans et demi.» Article

    “These children’s drawings, captured by the American journalist David Gross, reveal an original and heartbreaking vision of the war in Syria, which killed more than 191,000 people and over 3 million refugees in three and a half years.”

    Paris Match Magazine
  • Four portraits were shown at the Conference on the Syrian Refugee Situation, Federal Minister for Economic Development and Cooperation Gerd Müller and UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres in Berlin, Germany. The pictures were seen daily by UNICEF, German ministers, diplomats, and visiting foreign heads of state. Conference Info

  • Experience The Horrors Of The Syrian War Through The Eyes Of Kids: A new iPad app features the drawings of refugee children. Some are disturbing, while others are just regular kid drawings of hearts and smiley suns. Review


    The prestigious World Affairs Council of San Francisco is hosting an exhibition of more than 25 large photos and drawings. The exhibition opened with a packed lecture by David Gross.

    The World Affairs Councils of America represents and supports the largest national non-partisan network of local councils that are dedicated to educating, inspiring and engaging Americans in international affairs and the critical global issues of our times. Announcement & Lecture


    The 19 Million Project is an international program to bring together media and advocacy, born from a collaborative effort between Chicas Poderosas and La Coalizione Italiana Liberta e Diritti (CILD). It is sponsored by the multi-platform media networks, Univision and Fusion. Article


    RightsCon is the world’s leading event convened around the issues of the internet and human rights. The annual conference convenes business leaders, visionaries, technologists, legal experts, civil society members, activists, and government representatives from across the globe on issues at the intersection of tech and human rights. Inside-Outside was the exclusive art exhibition in San Francisco. Conference Info


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