What is to take a journey to Europe? If it entails crossing seas, mountains, strange cities, and unknown landscapes? While the paths refugees take to come to Europe has received excessive media attention, the details of the everyday life are crucially missing. Eleven photo-journalists we are combining our unique viewpoints in a collective exhibition and a book of our work entitled “The Itinerary - Tracing the Refugee Routes”.
It records, with unnerving determination and dignity, various stop over sites along the trek of the refugees in their attempt to reach their different destinations. These stop overs are located in Greece on the Aegean Islands, at Athens, at Piraeus, at Idomeni, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), in Serbia and in Hungary. Some of the photographs were also shot in the starting points of the refugees' trek, countries and regions such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Sub-Saharan Africa. Yet, joys and struggles come in the irrefutable minutiae of life: shared bread in abandoned factories, the piles of life-jackets, the wedding stores in the camps, the restless nights by the boat, the suffocating tents and treacherous waters.
The itinerary of the people depicted in the images, blends with the photographic “messages” on the road, for the sake of solidarity and peaceful co-existence. The end of this journey is not in sight. In words of the exhibition’s visitor: “A powerful and sensitive but haunting journey to the contemporary human condition. Almost at the heart of Europe”.
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Milos Bicanski, Andrea Bonetti, Dimitrios Bouras, Louisa Gouliamaki, Yannis Kolesidis, Yannis Liakos, Menelaos Myrillas, Nikos Paleologos, Anna Pantelia, Fotis Plegas, Orestis Seferoglou.
A refugee grabs onto the razor wire at the closed Greek - F.Y.R.O.M. border crossing, March 2016. Louisa Gouliamaki.