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On the Balkan Route

Noria Research

On winter 2017 Adrian Foucher and I traveled in the Balkans, along the so-called “Balkan Route”, the purpose of this journey was to observe the reality of the “migrant crisis”.

As we arrived in Belgrade by train, we realized how this city was a very important crossroads for the migrants, just behind the main train station, between 800 and 1000 people were living in the barracks, former warehouses, abandoned at the time, that where turned in shelter and homes.

We spent most of the time there and its surroundings. The “Bar Peron” inside the station appeared right away as one of the focal point for the migrant community, this was a place to warm themselves from the freezing temperature and to charge the phone, an essential tool to keep in touch with family, friends on the way and to plan the way ahead.

Most of the migrants were eager to tell their story and their attempt at “the game”, as they call it, the several efforts to cross the closed borders.
It was very natural for them, to take us around the barracks, to show us how they lived and how the faced the harsh condition of the Serbian winter.

“The every day life and the resilience of these human beings”

Many Serbian and international volunteers were bringing food and helping to improve the living condition, also with recreational activities. As the Belgrade waterfront buildings were impending on them, (the barracks will be destroyed and the people forcibly evicted later that year to expand the project), cricket and football games were played on the esplanade near the construction site.

These pictures aim to show the everyday life of the people during those months of stay, the endless wait, the cold, the hunger, but also the resilience and the moments of joy of these human beings in search of a better life.