PanARMENIAN.Net – Polish photographer Tomasz Kaczor‘s picture of an Armenian girl with Resignation Syndrome is nominated for the World Press Photo Of The Year.
Ewa, 15, has recently woken from catatonic state brought on by Resignation Syndrome. In the photo, she sits in a wheelchair, flanked by her parents, in a refugee reception center in Podkowa Leśna, Poland.
Resignation Syndrome (RS) renders patients passive, immobile, mute, unable to eat and drink, incontinent and unresponsive to physical stimulus. It affects psychologically traumatised children in the midst of lengthy asylum processes, and seems most common in Roma and Yazidi children as well as those from the Balkans. It was first noted in the late 1990s, and was thought to be confined to Sweden, though cases have since been reported in the offshore refugee detention center run by the Australian government in Nauru. Remission and gradual return to normal function occurs after life circumstances improve.
Ewa succumbed to RS while her family were trying for asylum in Sweden and threatened with deportation to Poland, which had been their country of first arrival as refugees. They feared being sent back to Armenia. The family was deported to Poland, despite Ewa’s illness, but she recovered eight months after they arrived.
This year’s contest saw 4,282 photographers from 125 countries enter 73,996 images. The nominees number 44 from 24 countries.