2009-2011, Exhibition and Publication
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Patras is a place of transit. This port city of western Greece draws migrants from Afghanistan, Irak, Iran, Erythrea, Somalia, Sudan, Algeria and Morocco. They plan, scheme and stalk the ideal moment to smuggle themselves under a truck or stow away on a boat for Italy. Determined, but also constantly fearful of being caught, they wait months or even years to achieve this difficult hurdle of their clandestine voyage, always conscious that other harsh frontiers await them on the road to a dreamed of europe, “Europa Inch’Allah”.
Before taking a photograph, time is required to establish the right relationship. I try not to make images of “them” but instead images “with” them, taken in a process of exchange.
My place here is at the same time behind and in front of the lens, I need to immerse myself, to find my position in the situation. Constructed with a mixture of document and fiction, my photographs aim to identify the necessary elements to tell a story.
Impovised camps, hotels, boats, jetties, beaches, ruins, cemeteries are the backdrops for the everyday life of the migrants of Patras. The action and confrontation are not put at the centre of the message; these images are testimony to the psychological state of these individuals and the traces left behind in the wake of this clandestine passage.