Fleeing death

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Wars and persecution have driven more people from their homes than at any time. Total 65.3 million people were displaced at the end of 2015, compared to 59.5 million just 12 months earlier according to a new report released by the UN Refugee Agency.


In comparison with the number of 7.349 billion people worldwide, 65.3 million means that every 113th inhabitant of the planet or is seeking asylum, or is a refugee. The number of forcibly displaced around the world is greater than the number of people in the UK, which occupies 22 place in the world in terms of population.

From March 4th to 8th, the photographer  Szymon Barylski lived with refugees at their camp in Idomeni on the Greek-Macedonian border.

There were more than 13,000 refugees and migrants there, mainly Syrians. It is occupied by people from different social strata. They are all found there fleeing the war, death and starvation. They continue their journey through Macedonia to the north and west of Europe. Not everyone manages to pass the verification of the documents, which leads to the separation of families. The refugees are living in difficult conditions and sleeping in overcrowded and soaked tents. They are frozen and have limited access to sanitation. The refugees are exhausted, tired and uncertain about their situation.

Médecins Sans Frontières. EU: your fences kill. Provide safe and legal passage Open letter to European leaders; Copies sent to Switzerland, Norway, FYROM, Serbia and the President of the European Commission. 11 September 2015. Categorisations of ’migrants; , ’refugees’ or ’asylum seekers’ do not adequately or fairly describe the reality that pushes people to embark on long and dangerous journeys. Every person has a story to tell about why they were forced to risk their lives to reach Europe. When people need medical care, food, water and shelter, they should receive this assistance regardless of their legal status.

About the author:
Szymon Barylski was born in Poland in 1984. He lives and works in Ireland as photographer. He has been published, among others,  The Irish Times,  National Geographic Poland, The Eye of Photography, Edge of Humanity Magazine. He has had a number of exhibitions in many countries including 3rd Documentary Photography Days in Istambul, MIFA Photography,  The SE Centre for Photography- Documentary Photography. His pictures were awarded in many competitions.

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