"For me, this project has been a way to understand war and to get other people to understand it a bit better," Magnus says. "When you live in a country like Sweden – where we haven't had a war for 200 years – it's almost impossible to understand war. However, what I can understand is the relationship between a father and a child, or a child and a parent. Therefore, almost the only way that I can understand war is through the eyes of a child."
The striking image of Maha (top image) gained global attention when it won first prize at last year's World Press Photo Awards in the People single image category. The event also recognised Magnus' film, Fatima's Drawings, about another young refugee (watch it below). As well as fundraising for the UN Refugee Agency, Magnus' hope is that his photographs – shot in his trademark soft, milky style achieved with his Canon tilt-shift lens – will move people.
"My aim is to get people to care about this conflict and about what's going on," he says of his series, where some of the youngsters' gazes meet the camera, forcing an uneasy connection with their plight. "You see images like these in the news, but it's easy to look away. For me as a father, it's very hard to close my eyes when I see children sleeping in the forest or having to steal apples from trees just to get something to eat. It's very hard to see. It is a complicated conflict – wars are complicated. But it's not complicated to understand that children need a safe place to sleep."