WJ Report

WJ Report debuts with this first special issue dedicated to the refugees crisis in the Balkans. The WJ magazine supplement is born in order to explore some of the most important and critical issues of our times

For several months, the photographers Cosimo Calabrese, Giorgos Christakis, Pierfrancesco Lafratta and Fabio Viola follow the migrants flow crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe. In these days, they are working in Greece, between Idomeni and Polycastro, to tell the emergency has arisen with the closure of the border with Macedonia. Beyond political issues what we are living is - above all - a humanitarian tragedy for thousands of women, men and children. Europe fails even to ensure adequate temporary shelters. These are the stories we want to tell. Unfortunately, they recur every day.

22 KM

Migrants march blocked at the Greek-Macedonian border

In the last days approximately six thousand refugees (mostly Syrians, Iraqis and afghans) arrived at the provisory refugee camp settled in Polykastro gas station, waiting to cross the border with Macedonia and being allowed to proceed on their long and difficult journey. The Macedonian government, together with the governments of Slovenia, Austria, Serbia and Croatia, had not officially closed the frontiers instead it decided to implement a politic of tighter controls on influxes, allowing to enter the border to 580 people per day.

B Camp

The chronicle of a sweep operation

Few steps from the Macedonian and Greek border, in the village of Idomeni there is a refugee camp managed by UNHCR which grows day by day and hosts, at the moment, nearly eight thousand people. On February 29, hundreds of migrants organized themselves and tried to force the border partially tearing down the iron fence dividing the two countries; yet, they were stopped by the Greek riot police on the railway platforms. According to BBC they were almost Syrians and Iraqis. Some days before, Afghan migrants had also been objects of eviction.

Aid Delivery Mission

The daily work of volunteers at migrants' service

In the refugee hosting camp at a short distance from the village of Idomeni a volunteer group from the program Aid Delivery Mission, without governmental or international NGOs' help, works daily for brining relief to the strains of migrants who arrived here with the hope of crossing the border between Greece and Macedonia. Beside the satisfaction of primal needs, volunteers committed themselves to make less hard the permanence organizing shows for adults and children. Fabio Viola tells us an ordinary day in the camp.


Real-life stories from Idomeni

The village of Idomeni at the border between Greece and Macedonia has a long history of migrations and getaway of its youngest residents. For some week, Idomeni has been at the hearth of the Balkan Route for migrants who seek refuge in EU; the residents described in this reportage traces their past history in the faces and eyes of those who moves today for finding a better future.