Journey in Stagnation

Journey in Stagnation is a photo essay showing the evolution of the refugee crisis through the contrasts between the situation in Greece before and after the deal between Turkey and European Union.

As the doors to Europe and a new life were closed to the refugees, the now famous points of arrival on the Greek island are now empty and few boats arrive every week. At the same time, more than 40 000 refugees already in Greece are stuck in a political limbo since March, waiting to know what will happen to them. 

It is possible to see the Turkish coast from Skala Sikamineas, the beach on Lesvos where most boats were arriving. There used to be dozens of arrivals each day. Now, only one or two boat comes daily and a dinghy used by lifeguards stands alone.

Lesvos, October 2015/June 2016.

The harbor of Molyvos was once the entry point of refugees being rescued at sea, night and day, often the scene of intense and tragic events. This summer, tourists and fishermen are back.

Lesvos, October 2015/June 2016.

Thousands of refugees were passing through Lesvos to enter Europe every day. Since the deal with Turkey, Europe is now closed.

Lesvos, October 2015/June 2016.

The beach of Skala Sikamineas used to bear the marks of the daily arrivals of boats filled with refugees each wearing a life jacket. With time, the beaches have been cleaned and ready to welcome the tourists that have deserted the island.

Lesvos, October 2015/June 2016.

Beautiful Lesvos presents magnificent landscapes which are now looked at by couples on romantic dates where there were once refugees on their journey to a new life.

Lesvos, October 2015/June 2016.

The most remote beaches are now deserted and only signs of past life and activities remain.

Lesvos, October 2015/June 2016.

Arrivals of boats used to cause huge piles of discarded plastic boats and life jackets on the beaches. Those have now been moved in a landfill inside the island where an enormous mountain is now watched over only by goats. There is no solution at the moment to take care of this issue.

Lesvos, October 2015/June 2016.

The camp of Moria was used as a registration  office for refugees arriving in Europe and leaving to mainland Greece in order to reach Western Europe. It became a detainment camp. The dream of an easier freedom of movement became a nightmare.

Lesvos, October 2015/June 2016.

The gigantic ferries linking Athens to Mytilini harbor on Lesvos are now transporting their initial intended clients; tourists.

Lesvos, October 2015/June 2016.

Piraeus, the port of Athens was but a quick transit point in the refugee journey towards Northern and Western Europe. It became a permanent home for thousand of them since the borders have been closed.

Athens, October 2016/May 2016.

Along the way towards their final destination, refugees had to go through different camps for a couple of hours to a day or two, never settling down. Today, the camps that remain have been housing refugees for months, since the closure of the borders. Daily routine is settling in as these camps become permanent homes.

Gevgelija, Macedonia October 2015/Lesvos Island, June 2016.

The now famous field of Idomeni at the border between Greece and Macedonia went from a tiny transit camp to an improvised village housing 15 000 thousand people to what it is today, an empty field. The thousand of refugees were relocated in Northern Greece and the camp emptied.

Idomeni, Greece, October 2015/May 2016.

Thousand of empty tents filled with personal objects tell the stories of all the refugees who used to live in Idomeni.

Idomeni, Greece, October 2015/May 2016.

The trains used to take refugees from the Southern border of Macedonia to the Northern border with Serbia. The tracks have since been used as camping area and are now deserted of refugees and trains alike.

 Gevgelija, Macedonia, October 2015/Idomeni, Greece,May 2016.