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The Next Stop

Maarten de Kok | Greece

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Exactly a year ago, the EU-Turkey deal came into force. The deal stipulates the return of individuals arriving irregularly by boat to Greece back to Turkey, in exchange for increased EU resettlement of Syrians from Turkey, large sums of aid to Turkey, and the easing of EU visa restrictions for Turkish citizens. However, the premise on which the deal was constructed – namely that Turkey is a safe place for refugees – was flawed. In the months following the deal, Greece’s asylum appeals committees ruled in many instances that Turkey does not provide effective protection for refugees. Instead, all asylum applications had to be assessed in Greece and, refugees were corralled on the Greek islands in squalid and unsafe conditions. On the Greek islands the harrowing human cost of the deal is laid bare. Not allowed to leave, thousands of asylum-seekers live in a tortuous limbo. Women, men and children languish in inhumane conditions.

Photography has captivated me since my childhood in the northern Dutch countryside (Drenthe, NL). My first pictures focused on the people around me, taking photos of daily life around the farm. During my Bachelor studies at the Academia Minerva (Groningen, NL), I became interested in photographing events in Eastern Europe. One of my first stories was related to flooding in a small town in Romania. After graduating as a documentary photography, I immediately started my own business as a freelance photographer. My interests in Eastern Europe grew more and more, and I traveled several times to Ukraine and Bulgaria. During those early years in my career as a photographer, I was mostly interested in showing facts through series photography. Recently, my work has developed in a more conceptual way, and I am busy finding ways to tell stories of single people by focusing on details rather than events.​​​​​​​

Because we carry

Maarten de Kok

www.maartendekok.nl

+31 6 42142652

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