Hundreds of thousands have left their homes to aspire for security and better life in the West, everyone knows and have seen that on TV. We all have seen the hardship and despair but there is much more to the story and I want to show it. Life goes on and smiles and hope flourish through this situation. This series of reportages will show the stories of the these refugees, their day to day lives, the good and the bad, the humans behind the refugees. They will be divided in three main themes; The Journey will showcase the different steps of the whole process from the camps in the Middle East to the final step in Western Europe, The People will show refugees from different age groups and how this difference of age can have an impact on their journey and finally, The Side Stories will present different subjects as varied as outsiders helping out, the situation of the trash and of course, The Eyes of the Refugees.
Images and stories before even leaving for Europe; the camps, the wait in the first Middle-Eastern countries. Most refugees have to wait for long period of time in Turkey, Jordan or Lebanon before attempting to cross to Greece. The number of refugees is incredibly high, much more than in Europe that is already struggling to receive them. All the pictures and stories are from camps in Lebanon
Attempting to cross the sea is a difficult challenge; most boats are not made for the number of people (up to 50) and the landing is a perilous event. Refugees are glad to arrive in Europe but often disoriented to arrive in the Greek Islands. Among the beautiful landscapes, their European journey begins. All the pictures taken on the island of Lesvos, up to the ferry going to Athens.
After having left the islands, now starts a long and tiresome journey. Train after bus after taxi after walk and so on. The transit in the camps are not always the most pleasant and the dignity of their humanity is often questioned. Pictures from the arrival in Athens to the transit camp of Idomeni towards the Macedonian borders, following the camps of Gevgelija and Tabanovce in direction of Serbia.
Finally arrived at their destination, refugees can start a new life while waiting for the bureaucracy to be over. Slowly getting used to a new life, these people are happy to say the hardest is behind. Once again, their strength is admirable. Pictures taken in Germany.
- The Children (coming soon)
Children, from barely two weeks old to the border of teenage, these not only suffer terribly from the journey but also, often barely understand what is happening and will be marked for life. Still, the resilience in these little humans is unbelievable and most of them smile and play any chance they get.
Having taken the decision to put their lives and sometimes the ones of their family members in search of a better and safer existence, they show incredible determination.
There is no age to aspire for a better life and many seniors are making the long journey to Europe. They go through the same harsh conditions as anyone and if those are difficult times for fit and young, it is unthinkable what these old people go through.
The Side stories
The island of Lesvos is a gem on Earth. Dramatic landscapes, mountains, beaches. Tourists abound in summer and constitute an important part of local economy. The influx of refugees bring its share of problems, the trash may be the biggest, environmentally, socially and economically. Alas, some are working hard to solve the issue which could benefit everyone, refugees, local and tourists alike.
- The Help (coming soon)
The refugees face many difficulties and challenges but they are not alone. Teams of heroes spontaneously formed or came from big established NGOs. Locals help and others flew from the other side of the world trying to put a smile on a face and bring some ease.
- The Eyes of exile (coming soon)
The eyes are the windows to the soul and these souls have been through a lot and are still as resilient. Have an intimate and close look and read their stories. Open your eyes, look through theirs.
Transit camp between Greek and Macedonian borders, thousands and thousands of refugees arrive here every day and leave, usually on the same day, usually on the train. Witness all the steps of this organized chaos, its smiles and its tears.
and much more to come.....