This is the second section of the resource pack I got called ‘The Stations’ with photographs and text by Marksteen Adamson. I’ve previously talked about the postcards in the pack and how they are a beautiful example of a different way to present an project.
I am now looking at the newspaper presentation that also comes in the pack. The newspaper is more of a portfolio size document that has a lot more information in about migration as well as a few migrations stories. It has some full page photographic spreads as well as graphics for illustration and is all bound into a nicely presented jacket. It also comes with a smaller document inside that is about the migration of children and how they can be supported and the problems they are going through. The great thing about this part of the pack is that it actually highlights the migration from many different sources, not just one, so it gives a much broader idea of the movement of people. It also gives facts and statistics so it is easy to see where these people are moving from and what the host and receiving countries are doing.
This document was only published in 2015 so in terms of it’s age it isn’t in fact that old, and the information inside is still quite relevant to the theme of migration in today’s society. The newspaper provides a big space to look at the images and to see them in a much wider format to take everything in.
This is the front page of the newspaper along with the foreword written by the photographer. The foreword goes into discuss and talk about the project and how it was the photographer began to understand more about his subjects and why he felt he should document it. At first he talks about how he was unsure whether to start the project at all and if so why he should but as he gets through more of the media and the understanding of individuals and their suffering he speaks about how important it was for him to actually go out and make this body of work. He collaborated with several groups of people including friends to get the project off the ground and eventually managed to go out and get started on telling the stories of those involved and how we can help them.
One of the first pages in the newspaper is a double page spread of a map. It shows where people are migrating from and to and how many people are being affected by what. It tells us what is causing their migration and lets us begin to understand it because we can see all the different reasons that might force someone out of their home country and everything they know. I really like the fact the project gives a little bit of information about each ‘camp’ or the reasons why people were moved on or stopped. I think it is fascinating to see it on such as wide scale because too often media coverage focuses heavily on one topic and one area and never bothers to show the full scale of the movement or explain why these people have to feel like they need to move.
The maps features a key on the side explaining the number of refugees and also the different routes they are taking and the different border types, as well as how many deaths there have been because this is so important to highlight just how dangerous these journeys are for people, but they still make the journeys because they think they will have a better quality of life/ a safer life somewhere else.
It is astounding to realise the true number of people that are making the journey and that are moving and fleeing their countries, but so often people die making the journeys and those that do make it, end up in refugee camps and no guarantee of being able to get to the country they want to get to.
On the map is ‘The Jungle’ a very well known refugee camp in Calais that is now, disbanded. But at the time that this project it was still functioning. As it stood, ‘The Jungle’ was holding approx. 5490 residents, which included 180 family units, 200 women, 650 children of which 420 of them were unaccompanied which is a shocking statistic. This is mainly because so many children have lost parents to the wars or they have died trying to get to different countries.
Since 2016 the authorities had cleared a section of the camp closest to the motorway and then in February began demolition of the shelters in the south, evicting over 1000 people. This is the same in all too many camps. At a certain point, they get demolished and the people are tried to be moved on, despite having no where to go and no support o get them there.
This is part of the second book in the newspaper, that is based primaritly around helping refugee children. A lot of the children are very young and many have already lost their parents. A lot of the children are unaccompanied and for them, living on their own in a strange and unfamiliar place with no one they know around them is often too much of a reality.
The aim of this project within the newspaper is try to get more people to help and support these children either through fostering or donations. Without the support of others, these children can end up being trafficked or living on the streets with no education before their lives have even begun. A lot of them have lived a hard life and the project wants to highlight he simple ways in which they can be helped and given a better life. The Stations is working in collaboration with the charity Homes for Good which tried to help get children into asylum seeking positions within the country as well as looking for foster homes for them. They want to support these children and give them the best starts they can in life, but without people supporting the charities and the children it is not possible. It is such a key issue within todays politics but it is often an untouched topic amidst everything else that is talked about. Too many children are suffering without the care and support they need and the images from the project that go along side the factual information are there to make an impact and change the minds of those viewing the topic to help make a difference.
Several of the images in the newspaper are similar to those of the postcards so I haven’t shown them here, but there are plenty more images and contextualising shots that fit into the 12 key stations that the photographer is talking about in the project. The images are beautiful and well constructed and feature different key points of the whole movement, such as places where refugees are staying, the refugees themselves, families, individuals, and of course their stories.
There’s a fantastic piece of writing by Lou Dawson in the back of the magazine, which is a beautifully written piece in my opinion. It fits wonderfully with the questions and the concerns of man, the wondering of how it has happened and what we can do or what we should do to help. It highlights how confused they feel when they are offered so much by people who have so little and this I think is the most beautiful thing. These people who have so little are so willing to be welcoming and offer us all they have yet they still cannot get to where they need to be. But in some cases they are happy – they still have their lives and some of them their families and they are together. It is so simplistic and strips back the materialism of life and what we need to survive and how those that have nothing are often the ones that will give the most. It’s a beautiful ending to a well thought out and beautifully chronicled project. The photographs are beautiful and thought provoking, but the facts and the text alongside, enhance the reality of the situation so much more.
I’ve loved looking at this project. It is so in-depth and beautifully constructed with a fantastic array of images and text. The collaboration with different people has made for a unique telling of a hard to tell story, with more times than others, you as the reader become invested in the stories and the tales of the lives of these people. It’s such a unique project on migration but it focuses in just the right places without being intrusive to give a complete view of some aspects of what the reality is for refugees and migrants in todays society.