Sheikh’s interest in photographing refugee communities began after he visited Kenya in the early 1990s and documented the refugee camps near the border with Somalia. He treats his subjects as individuals, identifying them by name, and writing texts that explain the political circumstances that forced them to leave their home. Before taking photographs, he spends weeks living in the camps, giving his work a genuine depth and engagement. 
A Camel for the Son 2001 looks at the plight of Somali women, who have endured assault and rape both during the clan warfare in their homeland, and from the Kenyan guards in the camps where they seek protection. Sheikh’s other work has included portraits of Afghan refugees in northern Pakistan, a community that he encountered after travelling to his grandfather’s old home in Pakistan.

Watch an interview with the artist