The world is experiencing the worst displacement crisis since World War II. There are currently over 60 million people fleeing war, suppression, injustice and hunger. Because of Europe’s immigration policies and its strategies of deterrence and expulsion, people are forced to take illegal and extremely dangerous routes in order to reach Europe. The Mediterranean and Aegean Sea are the deadliest borders world wide, since the year 2000 over 22.000 people died trying to cross. Europe must rethink its immigration policies and must start to think about alternatives to the Dublin regulation. We have to accept that migration is a reality. Migration is part of an unequally distributed and globalized world and will only be stopped if the living conditions in the countries of origin are improved.
I have been photographing refugees and migrants on different stages of their journey -before and after crossing the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea. I was not interested in photographing refugees in overcrowded refugee camps, however I am interested in the individual human being and in visualizing a ”geography” of migration. It is important that we recognize refugees and migrants as people and not as a burden and potential threat. It is important that we don’t victimize refugees and that we take their hopes and dreams seriously. We have to find a human approach to deal with this situation.
The images of the series will only be released as an edition of 1 (+ 1AP). The price of the portrait images will match the amount of money the individual person had to pay to smugglers in order to reach their current location. This way the size and price of the print will not be determined by me or a gallery but will represent the exploitation of the depicted person(s). The earnings of the print sales from the portrait images will be donated to an aid organization.