They are Arab, they are Kurdish.
They stood up to the Islamic State, directly on the front lines… and paid the price.
Treated as heroes, broken by war, they are now in search of a better life.
I met them in Iraq and Syria.
They are my friends.
Those who crossed the sea, those who died, those who disappeared.
Those who made it to Europe.
Those who became refugees.
Those who were rejected.
I remember the stories my grandmother used to tell me about her journey to North
Africa leaving behind a war-torn Europe.
However, Europe, which has always been a melting pot and a place of exile, today
seems to be suffering from memory loss.
I decided to show what went before and what’s happening today.
The images that represent them today are essentially event-based or spectacular,
depicting misery and catastrophe, impersonal images that too often serve the cause
of the populists. I travelled through Europe to find my friends and photograph their ordinary lives.
The photographs depict everyday scenes that could be from anyone’s life, slowly
fading away in the sunlight leaving blue monochrome in their stead… the same blue
as the sea that has taken so many, but also the blue of Europe.