Thumb sm
The Syrian Refugee Odyssey - Istanbul
Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
15 Apr 2014

What was once a welcoming and supportive reception for Syrian refugees in Turkey has turned to resentment and destitution. As the Syrian war has dragged on, Istanbul, Turkey's economic and touristic hun, has seen the population of destitute Syrians swell. As a result, the patience of the local population and aid from the government is wearing thin. While Istanbul has long been a hub for migrants traveling to and from Europe, Syrians have been trapped in Turkey, as it is almost impossible for them to obtain visas for onward travel to Europe, and many cannot return to Syria out of concern for their safety. Many now find themselves living in squalor with little hope or options for the future. 

One Syrian refugee described their situation in Turkey by saying:

"Life in Turkey is very hard, Syrians cannot work because they do not have the necessary permits and the only solution is to work illegally. There are children who work 15 hours per day to bring to their families a little money which is not even enough to buy bread. When the war is over I want to go back to Damascus, to my family, to my land."

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

Thumb sm
Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 3
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
15 Nov 2013

A permanent road block in Ierissos, where people, citizens and activist surveile the entrance of Ierissos to prevent police attack.

Thumb sm
Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 2
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
15 Nov 2013

Activists preparing the location for an antigold solidarity concert in Ierissos.

Frame 0004
Sexual Harassment, and he who faces i...
Egypt
By Norman Halim
07 Oct 2013

Award wining video on the influence of Egyptian heroes who stand in against sexual harassment and the impact they have on society.

Thumb sm
Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
15 Jun 2013

Yop's life (random name), a Christian woman aged 45, changed when she refused the marriage proposal from a Muslim man working with her. Since that moment, he started threatening her and her family and he turned their lives into hell when she decided to marry another man. Thanks to his contacts, her harasser made her and her husband to be imprisoned and her nephew killed. The whole family left the country in December 2011 and traveled to Bangkok where they got the refugee status.

Thumb sm
Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
14 Jun 2013

Sarah (random name) left Democratic Republic of Congo after being threatened for defending women rights in the country. She decided to leave when the government killed two of her colleagues from the NGO she was working for. She has been recognized as refugee in Bangkok but she does not qualify for UNHCR assistance as she makes some money selling jewelry and scarfs.

Thumb sm
Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible ...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
14 Jun 2013

Shakila (random name) belongs to the Ahmadiyya minority, an Islamic reformist movement persecuted in Pakistan. She fled her country in December 2012 with her 32-years old son who was threatened for working with an Ahmadi company. She lives now in Bangkok and she waits to get the refugee status.

Thumb sm
The struggle of immigrant single-moth...
Bangkok, Thailand.
By Biel Calderon
10 Jun 2013

The iconic image of refugees that we usually have in mind is a row of tents in a sprawling emergency camp. But reality tells us that refugees are increasingly moving to large towns and cities. More than over half the world’s refugees live in large towns and cities where they suffer from harsh living conditions, with a lack of security and an increasing poverty.

Thailand is a hot spot for urban refugees. One of the reasons why the number keeps increasing is the relative easinness to enter the country. But the conditions of life awaiting them are far from the idilic idea that some displaced people may build in their minds. Urban refugees in Thailand face a harsh reality, without any legal right to work and a lack of access to basic services, such as healthcare and education.

Bangkok hosts around 2,600 refugees and asylum seekers from more than 40 countries. They hope to find a sense of community, safety and economic independence, but what they find is fear of detention and deportation, exploitation and abuse.

Among them, we find a specially vulnerable group: single-mother refugees who came to Thailand either with their family or alone. They are often denied the necessary legal rights to participate in the mainstream economy and are thus pushed underground, into informal jobs. There, they face extortion, exploitation, abuse (risk of sexual and gender-based violence) and arrest.

Thumb sm
Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
08 Jun 2013

Pendeza (random name), 31, was detained and tortured in Democratic Republic of Congo because of the tie of her husband with a tribal guerrilla. She arrived in Bangkok in November 2012 after having travelled through Rwanda and Kenya. She lives with her baby son as an asylum seeker, waiting to be recognized as refugee.

Thumb sm
Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
08 Jun 2013

Maria Teresa (random name), 36, fled Angola in 2009 escaping from local authorities who threatened her life. In 2008, the government expropriated her house and detained her during a demonstration. Now she lives in Bangkok with her 2 years-old daughter, where she has initiated the process to get the refugee status.

Thumb sm
Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
06 Jun 2013

Shoba (random name), 35, left Sri Lanka in August 2009, two months after the end of the civil war with the Tamil guerrilla. Her husband disappeared in July 2009 after being accused of helping the guerrilla. Already recognized as a refugee, she lives now in Bangkok with her children, while waiting to be resettled.

Thumb sm
Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
06 Jun 2013

Muna (random name), 39, lost the favour of her family after marrying a man from another tribal clan in Somalia. When her husband disappeared in 2010 both her family and her husband´s family tried to kill her. She fled in July 2011 and travelled to Bangkok but she had to leave her four children in her country. As a refugee, she started the process to be resettled.

Thumb sm
Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
06 Jun 2013

Andrea (random name) was married with a member of the Intelligence Service of the Tamil guerrilla during the civil war in Sri Lanka. When the civil war finished in 2009 her family was targeted by the government and they fled after her husband disappeared. She lives in Bangkok with two of her three children. She has been rejected as refugee and she is preparing the appeal against the UNHCR decision.

Thumb sm
Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
06 Jun 2013

Sahar (random name), 50, fled Iran in 2010 with her three children escaping from the abuses of her husband. Two of her three children are already adults but she also takes care of her granddaughter, abandoned by her Thai mother. She has recently been recognized as refugee by UNHCR.

Thumb sm
Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
06 Jun 2013

Sania (random name), 33, left Pakistan in 2012, one year after the escape of her husband, a member of an opposition organization. She lives with her three children in Bangkok, while her husband is hold in an Immigration Detention Center located in the same city. Both have been recognized as refugees.da, where she will be resettled.

Thumb sm
Immigrant Single Mothers, Invisible R...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
05 Jun 2013

Rachel (random name) fled Sri Lanka in 2009 after being arrested by the authorities of her country for belonging to the Tamil community. She arrived first in Malaysia and traveled after to Bangkok, where she is waiting to get the refugee status. She has a 9 months old daughter who was born in Thailand.

Thumb sm
Viome, a self-management factory in T...
thessaloniki
By Michele Lapini
29 May 2013

Before the beginning of the international crisis, Viome were a factory in Thessaloniki with around 80 workers. The factory produced chemical products for the construction sector, owned by Philippou family. The main company of the Philippou's group, Philkeram-Johnson S.A, were in bankrupt in 2011 and the consequences for Viome were immediately adverse. After institutional meetings without a clear solution, the workers decide to re-take the factory and the production. In September 2012, after a 48hours strike, the workers start to discuss the idea of self-management, and the 97% of workers vote for it.

After the occupation of the factory, on 12 February 2013, the workers started the self-management production, selling cleaning products. A huge solidarity movement support the workers, with national and international inititatives to promote and diffuse the "Viome way", where now workers control the factory, without any owner.

Around 40 people work in Viome, with a basic wage for everyone and 8 hours working time 5 days a week. The general assembly decide the main question and a weekly meeting discuss he more operative aspects. "At the beginning was difficult, but we are sure that our situation is gonna be better, even better than before the crisis", said a worker of Viome. Economic crisis and bad decision from the Viome's leadership, contribute to the difficult situation of the factory, with with the probable dismissal of around 80 workers.

Since the workers have retake the factory, they've started a new production of cleaning products, looking for a sustainable and ethical production, including workers rights and a big challenge: spread the idea that workers create everything, and the have to take bake what they onw, in any cities and countries around the world.

Thumb sm
Viome 8
Thessaloniki
By Michele Lapini
29 May 2013

A worker dress the Viome t-shirt inside the factory.

The workers are however optimistic: The proceeds from the benefit gig and the donations of supportive groups and individuals collected through viome.org should be enough to keep the company afloat in the first few months. And the support of the social movements means many of the products will be distributed through the existing structures of social and solidary economy.

Thumb sm
Mook, the Teen Thai Weightlifter
Bangkok
By Biel Calderon
17 May 2013

Mook, 17, never fathomed any other way of life, an existence outside the rice fields and subsistence farming. Having lost her mother at the age of 9, she moved to Surin, one of the poorest provinces in Thailand, to live with her father's family. From then on, she was made to work in the fields, clean the house and look after her younger cousins. At 12, a friend of the family noticed her strong build and suggested she earn her way by weightlifting - which is just what she did. Before long, she had secured a scholarship from the National Youth Team in Bangkok and began a new life. Now she receives a small salary and has a safe place to stay while she pursues her high school studies. Many children and young people from poor families in Thailand are sent to this kind of program where they get a chance to study and earn a little discretionary income. Most of them choose traditional boxing, Muay Thai, but as several female Thai athletes have begun winning Olympic weightlifting medals, the sport has become more popular.

Thumb sm
Gorongosa Villagers
Gorongosa, Mozambique
By Luis Miguel Rodrigues
04 May 2013

Around and inside Gorongosa live around 250,000 persons that continue struggling to survive from a hard daily life after decades of civil war that came after independence from Portugal

Thumb sm
Mook, the Teen Thai Weightlifter (1 o...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
01 May 2013

Mook getting ready for training at the Thai-Japanese Stadium. She has to use gym chalk to grab the weightlifting bars properly.

Thumb sm
Mook, the Teen Thai Weightlifter (2 o...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
01 May 2013

Mook getting ready for training at the Thai-Japanese Stadium. She trains at least five days per week.

Thumb sm
Mook, the Teen Thai Weightlifter (3 o...
Bangkok, Thailand.
By Biel Calderon
01 May 2013

Siptiporng Minchaleung (a.k.a. San), 65 years old, Mook's coach, with some male weightlifters at the Thai-Japanese Stadium. He trains a total of 9 weightlifters (both males and females).

Thumb sm
Mook, the Teen Thai Weightlifter (4 o...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
01 May 2013

Mook getting ready for training at the Thai-Japanese Stadium. She trains at least five days per week.

Thumb sm
Mook, the Teen Thai Weightlifter (5 o...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
01 May 2013

Mook trains at the Thai-Japanese Stadium. She trains at least five days per week. She is able to lift 85 Kg (clean and jerk competition) and 67 Kg (snatch competition).

Thumb sm
Mook, the Teen Thai Weightlifter (6 o...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
01 May 2013

Mukda Rueandsuksud, 17 years old, also known as Mook, getting ready for training at the Thai-Japanese Stadium. She trains at least five days per week.

Thumb sm
Mook, the Teen Thai Weightlifter (7 o...
Bangkok, Thailand
By Biel Calderon
01 May 2013

Siwanan Yodyang, 15 years old, (a.k.a Joy) and Siriporn Samrandee, 20 years old, (a.k.a. Jane) are Mook's colleagues and best friends. They all train at the Thai-Japanese Stadium.

Thumb sm
Mook, the Teen Thai Weightlifter (8 o...
Bangkok, Thailand.
By Biel Calderon
01 May 2013

Siptiporng Minchaleung (a.k.a. San), 65 years old, Mook's coach at the Thai-Japanese Stadium. He trains a total of 9 weightlifters (both males and females).

Thumb sm
Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 21
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Activists outside the Court of Poligiros during a trial against the antigold movement.

Thumb sm
Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 22
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

View of Ammouliani island from Ouranopoli, 10 km far from Ierissos.

Thumb sm
Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 23
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Asterix and Obelix banner in a road block in Ierissos surveilled by the antigold movement.

Thumb sm
Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 25
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

The beach of Stratoni and the mines infrastructure. In december 2012, more than half a mile of the bay, known for its large sandy beaches, clear waters, and abundant fishing, was streaked with pollution leaked from Stratoni.

Thumb sm
Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 26
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Asterix and Obelix banner in a road block in Ierissos surveilled by the antigold movement.

Thumb sm
Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 29
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

Since April 2013 there are two road blocks in Ierissos, surveilled 24h by activists.

Thumb sm
Activists Struggle to Save Skouries 30
Lerissos, Greece
By Michele Lapini
26 Mar 2013

The police station in Ierissos burned in April 2013, after a police operation to arrest some activist in the village. Since April 2013 the police didn't come to Ierissos.