Glimpses from the Field: Refugee Life in the Margins of Europe

Our first two photo essays are up! In the following months, we will publish a total of six photo essays, depicting refugee life in Athens, Melilla, and Mayotte.

The photographic depiction of our research findings is an important component of EU Border Care. Images provide a context for our written representations of the surroundings, experiences, and encounters of pregnant migrants in their trail to Europe. This series of photo essays depicts the physical, material, and social environments of pregnant migrants in three of the sites included in our study: Athens, Greece; Melilla, Spain; and Mayotte, France.

Photographs in our first photo essay, on Melilla, were taken by the researcher conducting fieldwork there, Nina Sahraoui. In Athens, pictures were taken by Hala Alhouch, who also provided interpretation services for researcher Cynthia Malakasis’ work with Syrian refugees.

In the words of EU Border Care Director and Principal Investigator, Vanessa Grotti, visual art is at once a method and a product of ethnographic research. Photographs capture people, places, and events within limited frames, lifting them from their wider contexts. These photo essays, produced by Cynthia Malakasis and Nina Sahraoui, attempt a recontextualization of the pictures via the accompanying text.