Dawid Zieliński

Foreign Landscape
Transient migrant camp in rural Hungary on Aug. 21st, 2015.

Transient migrant camp in rural Hungary on Aug. 21st, 2015.

Refugees and immigrants arriving to Europe are sidelined from day one, forced to survive on the edges of the First World, facing razor wires and hostile attitudes. Contemporary nomads with no sense of arrival, their fate echoes the age-old story of constant movement in today's liquid global society.

Wars, famine, poverty and climate change continue to drive people out of their homes, communities, countries, to the unknown. They join millions who are already on the move, constantly, restlessly, occupying spaces on the margins of the First World. Continously interacting with their surroundings and the landscape they encounter along the way, they leave their mark, however elusive. From subtle signs in the forest undergrowths to discarded blankets to makeshift food stalls. This new and unexpected human presence is transforming the environment inhabitated and organized long ago, even if it's just a for a day, a week or a month, as they keep moving through the landscape scarred by walls and fences, running, hiding and then running again.

In 2015 and 2016, I covered the refugee crisis as it was unfolding in various European countries. Gradually, the news coverage became a backdrop for thousands of human stories, tales of fear and despair but also hope and resilience, among new divisions and borders brought by rapidly deteriorating political climate.

Instead of following the routine of descriptive and news oriented work that we've seen again and again, this issue deserves more comprehensive approach. From the dynamics of landscape transformations along established migration routes and traces of migrant presence, to immigration enforcement and structures of control, to information and disinformation, illusions of threat and propaganda spread by local and state authorities or various groups of interest. From refugees and immigrants settling in their new homes to those forced to survive outside organized humanitarian assistance, braving cold winters and hostile attitudes.

They will continue to come. It's just a matter of time. With climate change and new conflicts sparked by shrinking arable farmland, desertification and depleted fisheries, millions of refugees will arrive in Europe in decades to come irreversibly transforming social landscape of the continent.

Migrants and refugees warming by the fire after a cold night near Assothalom, southern Hungary, on Aug. 21st, 2015.

Migrants and refugees warming by the fire after a cold night near Assothalom, southern Hungary, on Aug. 21st, 2015.

Refugees wait in line to register with local authorities in Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos on Oct. 20th, 2015. As the camp was overcrowded and its facilities overwhelmed, most new arrivals stayed outside the camp, o

Refugees wait in line to register with local authorities in Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos on Oct. 20th, 2015. As the camp was overcrowded and its facilities overwhelmed, most new arrivals stayed outside the camp, often for days.

Remains of a makeshift cooking stove inside uninhabited building, on Aug. 28th, 2019.

Remains of a makeshift cooking stove inside uninhabited building, on Aug. 28th, 2019.

Emrah, from Afghanistan, after spending another night at an unfinished hotel overlooking Una river in the center of Bihac, Bosnia and Hercegovina on Aug. 28th, 2019. Shy and soft spoken, he turns silent when asked about detai

Emrah, a refugee from Afghanistan, after spending another night at an unfinished hotel overlooking Una river in the center of Bihac, Bosnia and Hercegovina on Aug. 28th, 2019. Shy and soft spoken, he turns silent when asked about details of his unsuccessful border crossing into Croatia. Many refugees report violent pushbacks and other abusive behavior by Croatian police and border patrol.

Members of National Radical Camp, Polish far right group and bystanders during a rally in Warsaw city center on Sep. 26th, 2015. Since 2015, when Law and Justice party won parliamentary elections in Poland stoking anti-immigr

Members of National Radical Camp, Polish far right group and bystanders during a rally in Warsaw city center on Sep. 26th, 2015. Since 2015, when Law and Justice party won parliamentary elections in Poland stoking anti-immigrant sentiments, radical organizations, marginalized for the past 20 years, have become a visible part of political landscape.

Hungarian border fence under construction on Aug. 21st, 2015.

Hungarian border fence under construction on Aug. 21st, 2015.

Refugee children build a fort with firewood on the outskirts of Idomeni camp on May 12th, 2016.

Refugee children build a fort with firewood on the outskirts of Idomeni camp on May 12th, 2016.

Young migrants and refugees hang out around shipping containers, where the WiFi signal is strong, on May 13th, 2016. With journeys lasting weeks or even months communication with family and friends, as well as staying well-i

Young migrants and refugees hang out around shipping containers, where the WiFi signal is the strongest, on May 13th, 2016. With journeys lasting weeks or even months communication with family and friends, as well as staying well-informed, remains vital.

Refugees gather in front of police station in Kos, where names of those who were granted travel documents are listed. Documents are necessary for further travel.

Refugees gather in front of police station in Kos, where names of those who were granted travel documents are listed. Documents are necessary for further travel.

A solitary man, his belongings in a plastic bag slung over his shoulder, crosses Una river bridge on a misty morning in Bihac, Bosnia on Aug. 29th, 2019.

A solitary man, his belongings in a plastic bag slung over his shoulder, crosses Una river bridge on a misty morning in Bihac, Bosnia on Aug. 29th, 2019.

Family of refugees moments before boarding the bus to Macedonian border on Oct. 21st, 2015. There is no schedule, buses leave the Piraeus port only when full. The journey takes about 8 hours and costs 45-55 euro/person, givin

Family of refugees moments before boarding the bus to Macedonian border on Oct. 21st, 2015. There is no schedule, buses leave the Piraeus port only when full. The journey takes about 8 hours and costs 45-55 euro/person, giving tour operators an extended season.

Refugees and migrants on the bus heading from Piraeus port to the local train station.

Refugees and migrants on the bus heading from Piraeus port to the local train station.

Brand new cross shining in the dark at the crossroads in the village of Baks, southern Hungary on Oct. 09th, 2018. Following the 2015 refugee crisis Hungarians, encouraged by the state authorities and in line with ruling

Brand new cross shining in the dark at the crossroads in the village of Baks, southern Hungary on Oct. 09th, 2018. Following the 2015 refugee crisis Hungarians, encouraged by the state authorities and in line with ruling party's anti-immigrant policies and anti-muslim sentiments, are rediscovering their Christian identity.

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