“Hijacked Education” is a documentary photographic project with the aim to generate a personal and universal statement to show how violence, extremism, intolerance and fear are wiping out the future of an entire generation of thousands of children in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Syria, Lebanon, Colombia and Nigeria.

There are schools destroyed and abandoned. Those are the altars without shape of the lost learning. There are teachers and students in the exile, kids soldiers, patriotic education; education kidnaped and raped. There are books burned, photographs on the ground, identities lost and stolen. There are empty classrooms, desks stacked, piled up, covert with the void of ignorance.

The war is not finish with the last bullet, or the empty bullet shell, or when the flag is raised. The iceberg of the battle rumbles and extends blurred the horizon. The open wounds of the war write with blood the future of millions of kids. Violence seeps into bordering countries that chaotically absorb a generation destined to grow up in exile. Different curriculums, overcrowding in the fields, serfs of the land … millions of children grow protected by ostracism.

Time, a time bomb, stagnates in exile and blots the sheets of school calendars that will never return.


Diego Ibarra Sánchez, is a documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Lebanon.

Diego assumes a very critical stance regarding the use of images in our own society, defining this historical moment as «lobotomized era of “tourism” on the other’s pain»: in his work he endeavors to ensure that photography is no longer merely a window allowing a view on what happens in the world, but becomes a means to raise questions and generate reflections. Diego Ibarra Sánchez’ gaze goes beyond the frontline, documenting and showing us all that is left behind after the bombings, the killings and the battles: the humanity that has nothing left beyond its life. He strongly believes in documentary photography as a catalyst, shaking consciences and showing the resilience and courage found in forgotten stories, always demonstrating deep respect toward the story’s protagonist. He thinks the camera has the potential to create social change; to change people’s minds and to change people’s hearts”.

Diego is very self-motivated, working on his own body of works while publishing many of his stories in numerous newspapers and magazines, such as The New York Times, Der Spiegel, Revista 5W, Al Jazeera, Diari ARA, UNHCR, and UNICEF… among others.

In 2006 several grants made it possible for Diego to spend a year in South America to improve his storytelling process. Upon returning to Spain he worked for two years for the Catalan newspaper Avui, while still continuing his own photography projects. In 2009 Diego decided to move to Pakistan where he developed a strong visual body of work focused on Pakistan. At the same time, he continued traveling to several other countries including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya, Nigeria, and Tanzania. He left Pakistan in 2014 and he is currently based in Lebanon while he keeps traveling and working on his projects around the Middle East.

He has been award with best pictures of 2018 by the New York Times.