The photo series, as we said before, is called Dreams of Europe. What dreams of Europe do the refugees have?
The migrants and refugees are leaving their countries and homes for different reasons. People are fleeing war, suppression, injustice, hunger and unemployment. But what they all have in common is
a dream for a better life in Europe. They are hoping for a safe environment where they can start a new life, find a job, and earn money to support their families.
Would most of them remain in the new country or is their hope someday to return to their homeland?
I don’ t know, I think this is different from person to person.
Your photographs from Tunisia, Lampedusa and Sicily (the first phase of your project) show only men. Have you encountered exclusively men or have you taken
this decision -I mean photographing just men?
As far as I know, about 70 per cent of the migrants and refugees are young men. I guess this is the case because the journeys are very dangerous and also physically very demanding. So no, it is
not a choice I have made, I simply only encountered men on my first trips.
For the second part of the project you went to Kos (Greece), portraying again refugees. We have seen through the media many women and kids there. Did you
I am asking because it’ s populist and you get a lot attention with it...To be honest I have decided not to photograph children for various reasons, but this might change in the future. I do
believe that every life matters and I don’ t make the distinction between an economic migrant and a refugee from a war torn country, and I also don’ t make a distinction between young and old or
male and female. I am trying to portray refugees and migrants in a respectful and dignified manner and I should probably also include children, no matter how this might be perceived.
How open were the portrayed to work with you?
It really depends, of course there are people who do not want to be photographed and I totally understand and respect that decision. Overall I have to say that the people I met were extremely
friendly and open. The refugees have to pay a lot of money to the smugglers for their travels. How can they afford it? Refugees are not necessarily poor people; there are many different kinds of
refugees and migrants. There are people and families from the lower class as well as people from the upper and middle class fleeing the war in Syria. A lot of the refugees and migrants from
Africa collect the money in their families or sell their property to afford the journey. In other cases, people travel as far as they can and then stay at one place to work and earn money
for the rest of the journey. I have met people who have been traveling and working for many years on their way to Europe.