Behind every immigrant a thousand stories

Behind every immigrant a thousand stories
Behind every immigrant a thousand stories

Photojournalists in the four corners of the world focused their lenses on men and women who fled bombs, persecution, drought and torrential rain in search of a place where life was easier, and today they reveal the stories of those who are referred to in their diversity as “migrants.”

“For me, they are the heroes of the 21st century: these people are ready to give up everything, even their lives, with the sole aim of living better,” said Olivier Jubar, a participant in the international festival of photojournalism “Visa” in Perpignan, southern France.

In Ethiopia, this photographer has been traversing different migrant routes for 20 years, farmers on the edge of a precipice whose dry lands can no longer feed them. In one photo shoot, which shows a group walking through arid mountains, one detail catches the eye: they are all wearing bright green plastic sandals.

He said that it is the cheapest, and they consider it the walking shoe, but I do not know how they managed to cross two thousand kilometers while wearing it..

In 2019, Olivier Jobard walked day and night in the footsteps of those who dream of what they see as the home of wealth, but on this path that tens of thousands of people take every year, some die of drought while others drown.

“I try to tell stories on a human level,” Jobar said. “It’s our responsibility as photojournalists to be very careful not to fall into misery.”

Beyond the scorching deserts, Europe may also become a trap for all those fleeing war in their own country.

Greek photographer Angelos Tzortzenis witnessed the fire that devastated the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos in September, saying: “Many of those who lived in it called it hell or prison and when it was on fire, I heard migrants saying they were finally free.”

In one of his photos at the Perpignan Festival, a 10-year-old boy is clearly traumatized by the flames that devastated the camp behind him, while holding a child in his arms.

“I don’t even know if they knew each other, at that moment, when everyone had to save themselves, I saw amazing scenes,” said the AFP photographer and one of the four nominees for the Visa Door News award at this 33rd edition of the festival. of mutual assistance.

Another picture shows a three-year-old child sitting barefoot and screaming in fear with his head in his hands.

“Of course I cover the news, but what interests me more than the news is to tell a story with a feeling,” Tzortzenis said.

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