Migration Media Award: Third Place, Photography Category
Author: Dimitris Tosidis
Date of Publication: 18 November, 2017
Title: Living in the jungle: Refugees Stranded at the Serbian-Croatian Border
Short summary: “Living in the jungle” was part of a wider project. I was following a refugee from Greece to Belgrade. A few days before the scheduled trip I received information that there were refugees stranded at the Serbian-Croatian border so I went there to investigate. The refugee camp in the village of Sid had closed soon after the Balkan Route closed, however, hundreds of people remained in the town trying to exit Serbia on a daily basis. The story was newsworthy because it proved those people existed and they remaind hidden in the fields they called jungle. It was also a proof that the Balkan Route was not closed but was more dangerous than before.
I chose to tell this story through night photography because their day began after sunset; they gathered in an abandoned factory to socialise with the others, cook dinner, and also cross the Serbian border to Croatia and the EU. Another important reason is that throughout the day they were trying to hide from the authorities.
One difficulty of the production was that in the beginning I was not certain there was a story. In addition, to tell a story of people who try to remain hidden a level of trust is essential, I achieved that by spending several days with them and getting to know them better. Another factor was that the area was difficult to work on because the distances were long, trains crossed constantly. An important element is that for the first time I have been documenting the refugee crisis I discovered people who came from different ethnic backgrounds. Apart from those from the Middle East, I met people who came from Macedonia and Taiwan. This proves the importance of the route itself and the reason why reporting migration is multifaceted.
Europe Hundreds of refugees are camped out at the Serbian-Croatian border, trying to cross the border to the EU using all means possible to get away from the terrible conditions. Dimitris Tosidis reports from Šid, Serbia.
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