Trapped Inside - I am like you

Sindos - Refugee camp, Greece

60 Portraits - 8/2016


With 60 portraits of residents currently living in the refugee camp Karamanlis in Sindos, Greece, we make the people who fled the war in Syria and Iraq visible again.

With the statement «I am like you» this group action underlines the many similarities we have as human beings, and encourages empathy by leading us to ask ourselves: "What if I were like you? What if I were in your position?"

The situation of Syrian and Iraqi refugees as well as of refugees in general is a humanitarian tragedy of unimaginable proportions. The situation in Syria has undergone a transformation from a civil uprising into a war which is threatening the whole region, since so called Islamic State and other extremist groups took advantage of the instable situation. Currently vast regions of Syria and Iraq are occupied or completely destroyed. Constant bombing, massacre, torture, lack of food and education are the main reasons, why Syrians and Iraqis left their homes.

As it's still happening now. People who have fled the war-torn regions cannot return to their home countries. In search for protection, refugees have chosen Europe as the goal of their migration, knowing Europe as a place with institutionalized humanitarian standards and a long tradition of offering asylum to war refugees. However, in an attempt to control the immigration Europe has closed it's borders, causing an enormous bottleneck in Greece. Approximately 60 000 refugees are currently trapped in camps inside Greece, unable to travel further.

Greece – left alone by its European Partners – is unable to provide adequate shelter, food and education for the refugees and is overstrained to organise the necessary support for registration, relocation, family reunification and asylum procedures. The European Union, having difficulties in finding a consensus on how and in which period of time to relocate the refugees over it's member states, is slowing down the process additionally. The trapped people have no other choice but to wait in camps in Greece under precarious conditions. Many of them are waiting already 8 to 9 months.

Furthermore, in the European media there is a lack of coverage on the situation of the deserving poor. While there is a lot of empathy towards the issues concerning women and children, media representation of male refugees is often linked to negative and violent incidents. Help opportunities and activities, organized by volunteers, also focus mainly on women and children.

For this reason “Trapped Inside” has chosen male refugees as its main focus. By focusing on male refugees, this project seeks to provoke a change in people's mindsets and aims at supporting a smoother integration by improving their image.

Refugee men are trapped inside in two ways. Not only are they trapped inside Greece, refugee men are also trapped inside themselves. Indeed, they are smarting from their inability to fulfil their roles as problem solvers and providers for the family, powerless in contributing actively to a change of their situation. Their suffering leaves behind deep marks.


Into The Wild

These photos show the posters pasted in the streets