Darashakran Camp is so new that everything about it has a fresh, raw feel, from its bare graveled roads to its just-planted lines of saplings. But as spring covered the rolling countryside in Iraqi Kurdistan with a lush new green, residents of the six-month-old camp welcomed in the season with fresh smiles and moves of their own.
The beauty of this latest Pharrell cover is in how unadorned its expressions of joy are. There’s no glitz, no airbrushing, no special effects: just the pure glee of spring. With green stretching behind them out to the horizon, little girls twirl each other in circles, laughing, while boys show off their cartwheeling and leapfrogging skills. Meanwhile, who would have guessed that inside those identical white tents, the empty floor space can double as a dance floor, perfect for doing a hip, bopping two-step—or a cool handstand?
Darashakran is home to over 8,000 Syrian refugees, many of them Kurds, and the majority under 18, who were relocated there from other, overcrowded camps. “Life in the camp is of course not easy,” writes the video’s editor, who teamed up with its amateur director, a volunteer named Maiko. “But they are not only grieving. They celebrate their birthdays, or newborn babies, or someone’s wedding…They are really living their lives.”
For more information: Watch the video here.