Category: VII Stories

Ziyah Gafic Awarded Grants

Ziyah Gafic Awarded Grants

Ziyah Gafic has received both a National Geographic COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists and Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Grant to continue his work on undocumented migrants in Bosnia as they navigate through the COVID-19 outbreak.

About the project: Bosnia-Herzegovina became an unlikely gatekeeper of the European Union. Since Hungary sealed off its borders with the rest of the Balkans, Bosnia’s over a thousand miles long, porous borders became the principal gateway to Europe for tens of thousands of migrants and refugees on their perilous journey to a better life. Thus far the state response has been to largely ignore the uncontrolled influx of undocumented migrants, shifting the burden onto the local communities, volunteers, and a few NGOs. The overwhelming majority of migrants see Bosnia only as a transit country. All they want is to go back in “The Game”, a vernacular term used to describe their journey to reach the EU. This precarious odyssey includes crossing treacherous rivers, former frontlines, and minefields left over from the Bosnian war, then trekking on foot through Croatia, all the way to Italy and beyond. Even before the pandemic, undocumented migrants are by far the largest marginalized group in Bosnia, at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19, with extremely limited access to basic healthcare: squatting in abandoned, ruined, overcrowded buildings, lacking basic sanitary conditions. Bosnia’s crippled healthcare system won’t be able to cope with the pandemic, Bosnia as a country is unwilling and incapable to cope with the influx of undocumented immigrants. The extreme measures that are being taken to contain the disease mean the migrants will remain stuck in Bosnia for longer periods. Currently, the Bosnian government is attempting to organize mass deportation of the undocumented migrants to their countries of origin, even though some of those countries are known for torture, or cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment and capital punishment effectively violating their right to life. The pandemic will eventually end but the migrants’ ordeal in Bosnia will continue. This project aims to follow undocumented migrants as they navigate through the COVID-19 outbreak in a society that doesn’t want them, in a country that doesn’t care about them. 
 

“Milan, a City Closed”

franco pagetti milan a city closed

Since the Italian government ordered a lockdown of Italy’s northern regions, which soon expanded to the rest of the country, Milan has been transformed, its normally teeming streets and piazze deserted. In “Milan, a City Closed,” Franco Pagetti, on assignment for The New Yorkerdocumented the fashion capital under the coronavirus quarantine, capturing its iconic landmarks, attractions, and residential neighborhoods empty and enveloped by a striking silence.

The church of Lamorlaye is closed, like all other places of worship.

In Oise, Where the Coronavirus Stopped Time

by Eric Bouvet

Eric Bouvet went on a road trip through the Oise, the first French department impacted by the Coronavirus. Each site photographed is directly related to the virus — the church of Lamorlaye is closed, the Creil hospital has experienced several deaths, and the airbase is possibly the point of entry of the virus into France.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    The church of Lamorlaye is closed, like all other places of worship.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    Creil hospital, which has had several deaths from the virus.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    The air force base of Creil, forbidden to photograph, and suspected of being one of the entry points of the virus into France.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    Cultural centers, such as theaters, libraries, and cinemas are closed in the city of Creil.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    Pont-Saint-Maxence, where the cultural center and the media library are closed.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    The cultural center of Pont-Saint-Maxence which is closed.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    The cultural center and library of La-Croix-Saint-Ouen are closed, like others in Oise.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    The road between Crepy en Valois and Creil, two cities that have been impacted by the coronavirus.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    The school of La-Croix-Saint-Ouen which is closed.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    The high school of Crépy-en-Valois is closed, like others in the region.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    The Compiegne forest is between the cities od Creil and Crépy-en-Valois, cities which have experienced death from the coronavirus.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    Crépy-en-Valois is the city most affected city by the virus.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    In Crépy-en-Valois, in front of the entrance to the gymnasium adjoining the Jean-Monnet high school.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    The cemetery of Crépy-en-Valois, the city most affected city by the virus.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    The retirement home of Crépy-en-Valois, where four people have died.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    The city hall of Crépy-en-Valois. The mayor is sick with coronavirus.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    On the road from Vaumoise and Lagny-le-Sec.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    The station of Vaumoise, the city that experienced that first French death due to the Coronavirus.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    Vaumoise, the city that experienced that first French death due to the Coronavirus. The mayor has asked for the municipal elections to be postponed.

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    All training and sporting events have been canceled in Nanteuil-le-Haudouin,

  • Coronavirus In Oise — A Road Trip

    The schools in Lagny-Le-Sec are closed.

    In an interview with L’Oeil de la Photographie, Eric described his process.

    The use of the large-format camera and the choice to use direct paper instead of film, is due to both time-saving factors, and to the fact that the paper holds surprises in the result, a bit like the polaroid for example. The magic of film!

    The large-format camera is a way of working with time and perspective — even if I work quickly, I know what I want when I arrive on the stage because I will be taking only one shot.

    I’ve been working with these devices for about 20 years. For reflection, the time it takes, the quality and the relationship with people, which is quite different. I had no problems with the demonstrations, for example, neither on the police side nor with the thugs. A kind of respect maybe…

    Of course, direct paper and postproduction make it a little dark, but isn’t the subject itself?

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