Greece has been the gate to Europe since 2009 when the immigration crisis broke out. Refugees from Asia, Africa and the Middle East crossed the Greek boarders either by land or sea. The last two years the situation deteriorated with over 1,023,930 people making their way into the EU. In fear of immigrant invasion and terrorism, 12 razor-wire fences were built by European and Balkan counties. Today, more than 57.000 refugees/immigrants are trapped in Greece. With no efficient action by EU and while Greece struggles in the middle of financial and social crisis, it seems inevitable to deal with the issue. At same time and despite people's efforts refugees/immigrants hardly manage to maintain their basic rights. They have to deal not only with their uncertain future but also with xenophobia, violence and marginalisation.
This is a series of photos that pictures the underground political culture in Greece. Generations from the lower and middle-class have been raised with a spirit of revolt and protest. Greece is by far the country with the biggest number of demonstrations compared to any other European countries.
The youth movement in Greece starts in the '30s, expressed mainly through protests for labor and civil rights. Especially during the Nazi Occupation in Greece, from 1941 to 1944, a larger portion of the people take part in the resistance movement, either through protests or armed struggle. With 3 million Greeks displaced or jailed because of their political beliefs between the Civil War (1949) and until the end of the military dictatorship (1974), the youth movement kept growing stronger. The youth protests contributed decisively to the overthrow of the dictators, after a bloody squad was ended by the military and the police, leaving at least 24 people dead.
Today, after the end of the dictatorship and for the last 40 years, despite that it has been a period of political tranquility, there have been five dead protesters after clashes with the police. Youth movements stand strong until today and they express themselves either with student-elections or whenever they feel there's lack of democracy they go out in the streets to demonstrate or organize university sit-ins.
The crisis and the austerity measures of the last five years have brought the youth back to the streets.
This is a series of photos from the landscapes and the people of Kosovo from the last three years leading to its 2009 independence.Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. It was part of Serbia in the Middle Ages, in the 15th century, the region was conquered by the Muslim Ottoman Empire and remained under Ottoman rule for almost five centuries. Kosovo again found itself within the Serbian state when it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Serbia as a result of Ottoman defeat in the First Balkan War (1912–13). After a period of Yugoslav unitarianism in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the post-World War II Yugoslav constitution established the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within the Yugoslav constituent republic of Serbia. Long-term severe ethnic tensions between Kosovo’s Albanian and Serb populations have left Kosovo ethnically divided, resulting in inter-ethnic violence, including the Kosovo War of 1999. The war ended with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia accepting that it would give up the exercise of its sovereignty pending a final status settlement. Under UNSCR 1244, governance passed to the United Nations in 1999. In 2008, the Republic of Kosovo declared itself an independent state. It has control over most of the territory and has partial international recognition. North Kosovo, the largest Serb enclave, is administered locally with parallel structures which observe the institutions of the Republic of Serbia. Serbia does not recognise the secession of Kosovo and considers it a UN-governed entity within its sovereign territory, a position supported by a number of other countries. Despite the massive developmental aid introduced in the region during the last seven years Kosovo remains the poorest area in the region. Unemployment is increasing, direct foreign investment arrives but with hesitation, growth is measured between 0 and -2% during the last three years while 40.000 youngsters reach adulthood per annum, joining the big mass of unoccupied population who watches life going by without anything challenging them. In case tensions rise again the region might face another era of destabilisation that will overflow into Macedonia and perhaps affect even Bosnia and Herzegovina. Officials of UNMIC structures and the various NGO’s distributed along the area characterise this as the most unlikely development, still none risks excluding it from what the future might hold. Meanwhile on the Serbs are waiting to see what the future might hold. Milan Ivanovic, the radical leader of the Serbian National Council based in Northern Mitrovica, stated that in case a declaration of independence is announced by Pristine the Serbs in Northern Kosovo will secede and opt to join Serbia proper. Even if the General Secretary of NATO Jaap De Hoop Scheffer during his last visit to Pristine on the 30th of November has warned that KFOR’s 16.000 soldiers will not tolerate any turmoil in the region such a development is regarded very risky for the wider region.