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Ignorance does not protect

image(1)The developments are fast and unpredictable. Where boats arrive today, tomorrow military may prevent their landing. Where now thousands still hoping to continue their journey cross the European Community, perhaps the next deportation already lies ahead. How much longer the stranded refugees in Greece will endure their situation beneath human dignity?  Does the EU justify all means to prevent the right of asylum? And what really happens in Turkey?

Again I am traveling to the borders of Europe. As with my Melilla blog I will report what I see, learn and experience there. I would love to provide an overview about my plans right now but this is not possible. Nothing is predictable at the moment.

The current politics make me feel helpless. I think this is a feeling that many of you know. I have decided, to counter this feeling of forced passivity. I need to see as much as possible with my own eyes. I will talk to those concerned. I’ll try – at least – to help locally. I will report about all this here. And from my experiences new art projects will developed. That’s my strategy to deal with my helplessness.

I want to know about it. Because to close my eyes to reality doesn’t help -thereby the intolerable will not disappear.

Mental cinema

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Izmir, Basmane

I knew what to expect in advance. I came here well prepared. I know what is happening here every day.

The area around the railway station Basmane is the current contact point at the turkish Aegean to organize the continuation of one’s journey to Europe. Syrian families are living in the cheap hotels around, human traffickers are awaiting their clientele in the arabic labeled restaurants, life jackets are an integral part of presentation in the shop windows and also waterproof neck pouches are on display.

I knew what to expect in advance. I came here well prepared. I know what is happening here every day.

A woman with life jackets in a plastic bag and a baby in her arm crosses my way. Behind her a man with two backpacks, both are walking quite frantic.

That’s daily routine here.

I knew what to expect in advance. I came here well prepared. I know what is happening here every day.

But the movie in my head is playing…

While the pope is on his way to Lesbos …

Lesbos, EU
Lesbos, EU
Candarli, Turkey

I can not sleep and look out the window. Lesbos seems close enough to touch. How many people tried last night to achieve this goal? How many more sit around here and think about their chance to finally get there? I don´t know.

19.5 Miles

Dikili, Turkey

This video was shot in a bay close to Dikili yesterday in the morning

The last hours before driving into the Unknown

Eine Bucht zwischen Dikili und Çandarli, Türkei

Photo essay: A curve in the high-lying coastal road between Dikili and Çandarli . The car is driving slowly , our contact thinks we should take a closer look . Then we see a small path, it meanders down the rocks to the sea. At this bay thousands of people start the last segment of their flight to Europe.

Text und Bilder: Michael Bonvalot und Tanja Boukal

We follow the path down to the water. At the fireplaces, which can be seen everywhere, people have probably warmed up scantily. Still, it can get quite cold here at night.


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