Nothing to do with a tour operator for the refugees...
A photography project about the refugees,
dedicated to the memory of the 3,700 who died in the Aegean sea
Francois was born in France and now lives in London.
He is a photographer by passion since he was offered his first camera at the age of 11 - a Kodak Instamatic. He has always been attracted by humanist, travel and documentary photography.
He has travelled and sailed extensively and has shown some of his work about Asia and South America in several exhbitions in Paris.
He is a free lance consultant but has decided to dedicate as much time as he could to photography.
He decided last year to work on the refugee crisis, from the Greek Islands.
The life of thousands of refugees in the highly touristy Greek Islands of Kos and Symi inspired him for the Bloody Holiday project. He was struck by the fact that these two populations would share the same space - the shore, the beaches - but never really meet, the tourist been there during the day and the refugees arriving at night, like shifts in a factory who would not know each other. He then decided that it might be meaningful - and powerful - to talk about the experience of the refugees with the words of tourism, to make us realise what it is to be a refugee on a daily basis, and what it means to leave your life and your country and to go through this dangerous trip to a new promised land.
Thanks to his economic background, Francois also investigated on the business done on the back of the refugees, particularly on the social networks, where all kind of illegal and highly priced services were available. He also investigated on the overall amount of revenues and profits made while smuggling people from Turkey to Greece.
There is irony in this work, but it is not about the refugees, it is about our standards of comfort compared to people who have lost their homes, their jobs and sometimes even their families. There is anger in this book, but it is not about the refugees or the tourists, it is about the smugglers who quietly run their business - including on social media - and make huge profits. Most of the people who drowned on the way did not because of the rough seas but due to the cupidity of the smugglers overlaoding the boats beyond reason to maximize their profits. There is also hope in this book, it is about exhausted people still smiling in the middle of this huge crisis and about the ability of men and women to risk their life and endure all sorts of things for a better future.