War in Peace: Aris Messinis' Refugee Beach Landing Series to be shown at Perpignan

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Messinis’ War in Peace exhibition depicts the arrival of the migrants who flooded to Europe’s gates in late 2015 after crossing the Aegean Sea in makeshift boats.
His work is displayed in le Couvent des Minimes at the French city’s historic documentary photography festival.
Published on AFP on November 6, 2015, Messinis’ photographs were published alongside an article by Yana Dlugy.

:The most shocking thing for me about covering this story is that you constantly realize that you’re not in a warzone. That you’re working in a place where there is peace. But the emotions that you’re capturing with your lens are the same,” Dlugy wrote.

“I’ve worked in Syria and Libya. I know what a warzone looks like. You expect to see things like this there. You don’t expect to see them on Lesbos.

“The human pain is the same as in a war, but just knowing that you are not in a warzone makes it much more emotional. And much more painful.”

A self-taught photographer, Aris Messinis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1977. He began his career in 1997 as a stringer with Associated Press after leaving school and completing his military service. He worked in Libya and Egypt during the Arab Spring.
Messinis’s previous coverages have won awards from Fotoweek 2011, Days Japan 2012 and the National Press Photographers Association, as well as the Bayeux-Calvados War Photographers’ prize.
He and two other Greek photographers had their work featured in the “Greek Shockwave” exhibition at the 2012 Visa Pour l’Image.
AFP will also be featured in two projections at the outdoor Campo Santo during the festival, one featuring Albert Gonzalez Farran’s coverage of the situation in South Sudan, and the other on the collective work by Syrian photographers during the conflict from April 2015 to June 2016.
AFP is a network of 500 photographers who transmit more than 3,000 images a day. The company’s international photo service, created in 1985, has increased its output sevenfold since 2000.
AFP, global news agency, has 2,326 staff spread across almost every country, and reports 24 hours a day in six languages, and in video, text, photos, multimedia and graphics to newspapers and magazines, radio and TV channels, web sites and portals, mobile operators, corporate clients and public institutions.
Read more about AFP here, Perpignan here, and follow Aris Messinis here.

Tom Seymour

Tom Seymour is an Associate Editor at The Art Newspaper and an Associate Lecturer at London College of Communication. His words have been published in The Guardian, The Observer, The New York Times, Financial Times, Wallpaper* and The Telegraph. He has won Writer of the Year and Specialist Writer of the year on three separate occassions at the PPA Awards for his work with The Royal Photographic Society.