According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than one million refugees and migrants headed to Europe in 2015. The vast majority paid human traffickers to take them across the sea from Turkey or Northern Africa to Europe. Many of the refugees fled Syria and Afghanistan, because they had lost faith in the possibility of peace in their country within a foreseeable future. The EU’s asylum regulations have collapsed under this pressure, and member countries compete about who can keep the most refugees away from their national borders. Barbed wire fences, tear gas, border controls, tightening of asylum laws and inadequate humanitarian aid have failed to stop the stream of people fleeing war, oppression and poverty, and have instead created many chaotic situations on the refugees’ journey toward an improved life. Captions, Refugee Stream 1-9: 1: A boat with people from Syria and Afghanistan comes ashore on a beach near Eftalou on the Greek island of Lesbos. They have had a tough crossing and everyone is incredibly relieved when they finally reach land. Many cry tears of joy, a man lights an emergency flare, and people dance, sing, pray and snap photos of each other with their cell phones. The 10-12 kilometer journey across the Aegean Sea from Turkey takes one and a half to two hours. A spot on one of the overcrowded rubber dinghies holding 40-60 people typically costs $1,000. Eftalou, Lesbos, 06.29.2015. 2: A man collapses in tears when he finally reaches land and shouts “Why no help, why no help?” Many of the passengers on this crossing are visibly moved and weeping. They were on the sea for two hours and had to remove water from the boat during the entire trip. The boat was close to capsizing, and everything and everyone are soaked to the bone. Despite the approach of winter and worsening weather conditions, the stream of refugees going to Lesbos does not decrease. In contrast with the beginning the year, volunteers from all over the world now greet the boats and help the refugees with dry clothes, first aid, food and instructions on how to proceed. Lesbos, 10.20.2015. 3: At the registration center in Moria on Lesbos the conditions are atrocious. The rain has been pouring for three days non-stop. The area is covered with trash and mud and there is a lack of food, water, medical aid and healthcare. People wait outdoors for up to five days to get registered. In the line for men not from Syria, serious brawls and fights frequently break out over disagreements about their position in the line. No officials are present to control the large number of people, and a group of men carrying clubs emerge as a sort of self-appointed police force, attempting to control the line and mediating conflicts. Moria, Lesbos, 10.22.2015. 4: Mahboubeh from Afghanistan is 19. She has fled from Iran where she was illegally living with her husband and their four-year-old son Matin. For 3 days they waited in line at the registration center in Moria. It’s been pouring rain and their son has became ill. They want to go to Sweden. Moria, Lesbos, 10.22.2015. 5: On April 25th, the Italian navy brought 334 boat refugees to the Sicilian port city of Augusta. They had been rescued the day before near the coast of Libya. Here refugees/migrants are escorted from the navy vessel to a provisional tent camp in the port, where the refugees are checked on while waiting for the busses that take them to a reception center. Augusta, Sicily 04.25.2015. 6: A group of refugees from Eritrea have built a makeshift camp on an empty lot near one of the central squares in Catania. Many of the boat refugees arriving in the Sicilian port city only stay for a few days’ rest before heading further north through Europe. Others apply for residency permits and agree to be housed in reception centers. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 150,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean Sea from Northern Africa to Italy in 2015. Catania, Sicily, 04.22.2015. 7: A family of refugees crawls under the controversial border fence being built by Hungary on its border with Serbia. The little girl’s hair gets caught in the barbed wire, and precious seconds are lost untangling her. The man lifting the wire does not make it across before the Hungarian border guards arrive, but he takes the risk again later and succeeds. Röszke, Hungary, 08.27.2015. 8: After entering Hungary from Serbia, a group of Syrian refugees attempts to reach a train station so that they can travel to Germany. Earlier that day, they were detained in a field by Hungarian police, who intended to bring them to a holding center, but the group grew impatient and started walking. Unwilling to enter into a confrontation, the police let them go, but continued to monitor the group. When the Syrians reached a railroad crossing after walking around 4 kilometers, some of them gave up and boarded the police busses, while others walked into the dark along the railroad track. Röszke, Hungary, 08.26.2015. 9: September 16, a group of young men storm Hungarian border police from the Serbian border at Horgos and succeed in cutting down some barbed wire and opening a gate. A rumor spreads among the refugees that the border has been opened, causing families with children as well as elderly people to rush toward the line of police officers in the hope that they will be allowed into Hungary. Suddenly the area is covered in tear gas, and the police line advances rapidly, beating on everyone around them. Chaos ensues. People are bleeding, screaming and falling over each other when attempting to get away. Horgos, Serbia, 09.16.2015.
The people of “Copacabana Palace” are the “sem tetos, sem terras”. Generally hidden from view, they represent the dark side of Brazil’s multi-billion dollar spending spree on global sporting events such as the 2007 Pan American Games, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. There are thought to be about 40 million homeless people in Brazil and the numbers are rising. Despite government housing projects and anti-poverty policies the “sem tetos, sem terras” (homeless, terrainless) face a bleak future. Over 300 families have found a sort of refuge here. 6 Young Eduarda (12) is part of a family with 7 other siblings. She is sitting out of a window observing what is happening in the street. She lives in one of the 6 unfinished buildings which are part of a supposed middle-class condo project, not far from Rio de Janeiro, but still far enough to be hidden from our view. 300 families found shelter here. It has had many names like Jambalaya, after a famous TV show, Carandiru, after the dangerous state prison and finally, Copacabana Palace, ironically named after the prestigious five-star hotel in Rio de Janeiro. 7 The thin red line between life and death is a daily reality here. A horse died in agony after having received bee stings throughout night and no assistance from the locals. This place is a very challenging and toxic environment. 5 Simone is suffering from a growing tumor and the medical treatment necessary is out-of-reach. She has been accompanied by her husband to the local public medical service point many times. Besides an X-Ray and some pills nothing more has been possible. Despite her severe condition, Simone continues to work on a daily basis, as best as her health permits. 4 Two young boys are playing in front of the building between old cars. Parked and often abandoned cars give kids an interesting but also dangerous playground, as there is no protected or secure play area within a reachable distance. 3 An empty room is being "prepared" for new living quarters . Squatting of abandoned and empty buildings is prohibited by law, but it is often the only solution for many of the "Sem Tetos, Sem Terras", who can no longer afford to pay rent, are living on the streets or simply running away from drug gangs inside the favelas. This is home for millions of Brazilians. 1 There is not only pain, need and suffering. There is also life, passion and emotion. Two dwellers found in an intimate situation in one of the occupied buildings. 2 Two dwellers are snorting some cheap cocaine. Although they are aware of the strong housing rule of “no drugs”, the use of them is still a common problem. 8 Edilane and 3 of her 7 children are resting on a mattress on the floor. She is soon to give birth to a son. Life challenged her. She trusted wrong partners many times. She is one of the awardees in the official housing program in Brazil, „Minha Casa, Minha Vida“ (my home, my life). But she was unable to enjoy her new home, as drug gangs and their families surrounded the area, occupying the apartments. Many times drug gangs occupy government housing complexes and intimidate innocent families. 9 A rainy night at the “Jambalaya”, also called many other names and sometimes, Copacabana Palace. With heavy rainfalls, rooms without windows often flood. Most of all occupied, unfinished apartments are without windows. Curtains, plastic or in the best case scenario, wood panels give a certain protection from wind, sun, rain offering privacy.
Since 2011, large biomasses of herring have spent the winter in fjords of Northern Norway for 3-4 dark months. This has attracted hundreds of whales and fishing vessels. Fishermen use the whales to localize the herring and the whales follow the fishing boats to get a "free meal" when the boats retrieve their fishing gear. This seemingly "win-win" situation also creates some negative interactions, including an increasing number of accidents where whales may become entangled in the fishing gear, sometimes with serious or potentially lethal injuries, and subsequent damage to the fishing gear. Some of these whales are fortunate and are saved by the coast guard and volunteers. 1 The silvery of the Arctic Ocean Atlantic herring arrive at the overwintering grounds outside Northern Norway in the last rays of sun before the polar night settles for two months. 2 Feeding killer whales Following the large shoals of herring arriving at the overwintering areas, lots of orca and humpback whales also arrive to feed on the surplus of easy accessible food, as seen here in the last rays of sun before the polar night settles. 3 Night feeding During the polar night in northern Norway where there is no sunlight for two months, the whales continue to feed throughout the day, even at night. 4 Preparing for a free dinner Following the herring, large numbers of fishing boats also arrive in the fjords where many whales have learned that they have the possibility of getting a “free meal” eating the leftovers lost by the fishermen. 5 Fighting for the food Some whales have become so trusting that sometimes they can be a problem for the fisherman, and sometimes they actively try to steal fish from the fishing gear, which in some cases can destroy both the fishing gear and the herring caches as well as creating danger for themselves. 6 Eating leftovers Around the fishing boats the orcas pick the herring one by one. They can even become so trusting that the fishermen can nearly feed them out of their hands. 7 Whale frost steam During the dark polar winter the air temperatures often drop many degrees below 0 °C and you can see the whales' breath emanating from their mouths while they feed in the fjords. 8 Please help me Unfortunately, because of the high density of whales and fishing vessels, some whales may get entangled in fishing equipment or other objects found in the fjords, creating a life threatening situation for the whales. The Norwegian Coastguard and several local volunteers try their best, and often succeed, in saving the whales that are spotted. 9 Arctic whale farewell dance February, and the humpback whales are leaving the Northern Norwegian fjords and are migrating south to tropical waters to mate and give birth. At the end of the feeding season, many whales start to sing and become more playful, probably preparing for the romance to come in the south…
Russian penal colony N° 56 (Black Eagle) is a high security prison exclusively for murderers where 260 men responsible for 800 murders between themselves, are locked up. There are maniacs, rapists, serial killers, mafia hitmen and terrorists – the most dangerous criminals of Russia. The prison houses two types of prisoners: 85 lifers are locked up 23 hours a day in solitary confined or 2 men cells in the high security block, while 175 former death row prisoners, serve their 25-years sentences in the communal block, where they can eat, sleep, socialize and work together.
It is a stream of souls that is crossing half Europe on foot. It is difficult to estimate the people who are still in the camp of Eidomeni, but we could estimate a number between 12,000 and 15,000 people, without any hope left of passing the border. The rain and the closing of the border made many people leave the camp. Some went toward Albania, where, on the border with Greece, there seem to be around 1,000 people who were stopped by the police. They all search for some firewood to warm themselves in front of the thousands and thousands of summer tents sunk in the mud.
In Iran, the death penalty is given to children for crimes such as murder, drug trafficking and armed robbery. According to the Islamic Penal Law, the age when girls are held accountable for their crimes is 9 years old, while international conventions have banned the death penalty for individuals under 18. Those with minor crimes are freed after having served their sentence, and those who are sentenced to death are hanged after reaching the age of 18, unless the complaint is taken back (by the next of kin in the case of murder).
During the Refugee Crisis on the Hungarian-Austrian border zone. During September and October 2015, for 44 days, from Hungarian Röszke and Horgos, 164 special trains with migrants arrived in Hegyeshalom. In these trains there were hundreds of thousands of people from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and the African countries... I took the pictures at the Hungarian - Austrian border (Hegyeshalom - Nickelsdorf) crossing point, in the Nickelsdorf transit zone and in Hegyeshalom and Nickelsdorf train station, between September 5th and October 7th.
Women veterans are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in the United States and are four times more likely to become homeless than civilian women. Women who have survived Military Sexual Trauma are the most hidden population of homeless women and often flounder in unsafe relationships, live in their cars or endure drug-infested motels to avoid shelters or the streets.
Devotion is a photographic journey that explores different people's faith traditions across the world. The project seeks to capture the common humanity rather than the dogma, behind these traditions and in some small way encourage curiosity, understanding and tolerance of different beliefs. Many of the ancient devotional practices that have been central to the culture of these regions for thousands of years are now under threat from the forces of globalization, mass tourism and political oppression. This project hopes to be a testament to the importance of these traditions.
The famous and well-known wildebeest migration was studied in a project between 2012 and 2015 in Masai Mara, Kenya. I tried my best to show this chaotic phenomena in an artistic manner.
Kushti is the traditional form of Indian wrestling. Practiced in an Akhara, wrestlers under the supervision of a guru, dedicate their bodies and minds to Kushti for a period varying from 6 to 36 months. It is a spartan way of life that requires rigorous discipline. Experienced wrestlers set the example and share their skills with the younger boys (7-8 years old) and new recruits, thereby promoting camaraderie, solidarity and fraternity.
On the 26th of April 1986 the nuclear power station of Chernobyl exploded. 65 million of people had been infected. It is estimated that the infected lands will return to a normal level of radioactivity within 100thousand years. Thirty years have passed, only 99.970 years are leftâ€¦ and the worst is yet to come, when the girls,who were under 6 at the moment of the explosion, will have children; only there we will start to understand which would be the effects of the genetic mutation on the future generation. Chernobyl is not passed, is not history, but it has just started.