At 2:30 am on 3 August 2014, a woman was baking bread in Gurzeric village in northwestern Iraq when she suddenly heard a gunshot. It was at this moment, in the middle of the night, that militants from Islamic State (IS) started a full assault on village of Iraq's Yazidi minority in the Shingal, or Sinjar, region.
When IS attacked the Shingal region, many of those who had to flee took the barest of belongings, hoping to return to their homes before long. Yet over the months following the initial assault, many of the Yazidi villages and towns were flattened by fighting and air strikes, leaving nothing but rubble and twisted metal. Now, for the thousands who have fled to camps inside Iraq or left the war-torn country for a safer future in countries like Germany, the few items they were able to salvage on those fateful days are the only mementos they have left to remind them of a peaceful and normal life torn apart by the ravages of war.
Having photographed Yazidis displaced inside Iraq over the past years, I decided to photograph some of the thousands of people now biding their time in refugee camps or starting new lives in distant countries and combine these with the homes, the villages, the salvaged items and the memories of those who hope to return to their homes one day.