This project started in Symi, then Kos in August 2015. Both Greeks Islands were receiving massive flows of refugees from Syria and other countries. Many died when crossing the ocean. All were taken massive amounts of money by the smuglers, some of this business happening through social media.
Therefore, we developed a two-fold project.
THE STRANGE ENCOUNTER: REFUGEES LANDING IN A TOURIST WORLD
A photography project
The refugees were landing in some of the most touristy islands of Greece. Inflatable dinghies were beaching at night in the middle of the sunbeds and umbrella of the tourist resorts.
The encounter with the tourist world never really happened though. The refugees were arriving at night, the tourists were on the beach during the day. The same space used at different times by the two populations. The project is the story of this non-encounter. It describes the experience of the refugees with the words of tourism.
One million refugees made it through the Greek Islands between early 2015 and March 2016. 221,000 arrived just in October, a record. And on average, refugees had paid much more to be there than tourists...
3,700 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean in 2015
WHEN REFUGEES 2.0 MEET SMUGGLERS 2.0
An investigation about the social media and the business aspects of the crisis.
Refugees were charged incredible amounts of money to cross the Aegean sea on boats that were generally overloaded.
Smugglers were using traditional ways to get in touch with their clients but also the most modern techniques of on-line marketing, with all their offers available on social media. Refugees are mostly young people and massively connected to social media, This was the first exodus of the social media era. Refugees were still poor in belongings as in the past but rich in information. They were clearly "Refugees 2.0", hence ready to find what they needed for their trip on internet.
Based on interviews with refugees and cost analysis, we determined the economics of this passage from Turkey to Greece and the revenues and profits made by the smugglers to transport the refugees.