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​© 2019 thomas de wouters

My photography is necessarily an interpretation of reality, subjective, but it captures instants of life without ever trying to distort it by an artificial construction

 

we are all migrants

‘the Rush – the Waiting – the Newborn Europeans'

The pictures plunge the public into the reality of those who cry silently their lost country but who show us hope for a new life.

Before that the borders have been closed, the migrants from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan were in a mad rush to journey from the Greek islands to Central Europe. No more than six days to cross six countries. No more than a few hours in a camp, no time to rest, they have to pick up the next train, the next bus where they can sleep.

Rush. A single word for so many realities. Movement, hustle, urgency, anxiety.

Deep in their eyes we see the severity of what they went through. However, it’s as if this rush has not touched them. Against all the odds, they seem confident and peaceful.

Today, now that the borders are closed, these six days have become eternity... we appreciate how vital this movement was. Rush has given way to waiting.

 

Waiting. A single word for so many realities. Immobility, hope, tension, pending a border that never opens… an eternity. The pregnancy… 9 months.

After just crossing or being in Turkey for 1, 2 or 3 years, they escaped to Europe, crossing the see. Among them a lot of pregnant women. Once in Greece, the european soil. At the closed gates of hope are born their child. The right of soil against the right of birth. Are we all ready to accept those newborn as Europeans ?

 

Balkans, Greece, Macedonia, December 2015 - April 2016