Actually I considered this project as closed. But strolling through Moscow, driving through Moscow Region, I still find motives for this series. It seems that this will become (another) project constantly in progress...
You can find more of this project at my website.
Hungary 1989 and now...
THE FREEDOM GATE
It was in the summer of 1989 when thousands of East German "tourists" had been making their way to Hungary, looking for a way to cross into Austria. What drew them was a bold decision taken earlier that year by the reformist prime minister Miklos Nemeth to start dismantling the security system along the border. None of them where looking to leave their country because there was a civil war in which overt he last five years more than 250.000 civilians had been killed. All they wanted was a better life. In today's terminology most of them where "economic migrants", most of them where not refugees according to the Geneva Convention. On August 19, 1989, Hungary was opening the border to Austria. By the end of that day, more than 600 East Germans had crossed over to the West. Three weeks later, when Hungary fully opened its borders, 60,000 flooded out. On the very place where this happend there was errected a memorial called "The Gate to Freedom". Today, as a member of the EU, Hungary is errecting barbed wire fences to keep refugees out, teargassing them, seperating children from their parents. Somebody didn't learn from history...
|The "Gate to Freedom" at the Hungarian-Austrian border|
DOING IT THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY
In Ierissos, on the shore of the Athos peninsula in Greece, there are small shipyards which have specialized in building and restoring Kaikias and Trehantirias, the traditional wooden boats of the fishermen. Most of them are now used for shipping tourists around but at least this old and tratitional handcraft has survived...
|Before and after...|
|No hectic pace. Time for the important things...|
|The finishing touch...|
BY THE WINGS OF DREAMS
For Yonni. Be, my son...
Make your sail
And every heart will know
Of the tale
Make your tune
For none may sing it
Just as you do
Look at the way I glide
Caught on the wind's lazy tide
Sweetly how it sings
Rally each heart at the sight
Of your silver wings
Find your way
For none may know it
just as you may
[Neil Diamond, Jonathan Livingston Seagull]
"The Universal Declaration of Human Rights"
Articel 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
Articel 14: Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
On sunday we drove from Greece to Austria. All the way we saw groups of refugees on their way to the Hungarian border. Some of them walking on the hard shoulder of the roads, some of them sleeping on petrol stations and parking lots. Hundrets of them, including small children. At the Hungarian border I was confronted with something I didn't expect to happen in the 21st century, in Europe, at the border of the EU (which got the Peace Nobel Prize in 2012): Pure inhumanness. Hungary of all places (with its own history of 1956, with its own experience of living behind an iron curtain) had errected a fence to keep this people out. A fence, two meters high and with shorp barbed wire. To keep people out who have lost everything, who just want to reach some safe haven, which don't want to stay in Hungary anyway. A fence of shame...
|The Fence of Shame: Refugees which didn't make it over the barbed wire and were cought by the police.|
Kept sitting in the full sun for ot least on hour, the police prevent people from giving them some water...
Yesterday evening in Vienna. More than 25.000 people participated in a demonstration in support of the refugees. The demonstration was organized by a privat person within a Facebook group. It is a sign: You are not alone...