Mauro Prandelli Mauro Prandelli

Mauro Prandelli was born in 1979 in Brescia, Italy. In 2011 he started to work as free lance. He attended the course of Photojournalism held by Sandro Iovine in Milan and, in the meantime, he co-operated with different national and international magazines focusing on reportages on current and humanitarian issues.
In 2012 he produced the reportage called “Evros river, the oriental gate of Europe. A wall against immigration.”, work edited by Sandro Iovine, which illustrates the situation of the migrants who try to enter in Europe through the Turkish borders.
In 2013 he exhibited at the Ethic Photography Festival, Lodi, at the WSP Photography, Rome and at the CiternaPhotography Festival, Citerna, Italy.
He is currently working on the realization of a long-term project on the migration through the Balkan route. He also worked abroad, mainly in Greece, Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt.

Collections created

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Balkan Route – Another Way to Reach E...
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
21 Sep 2015

Between Serbia and Macedonia runs the imaginary line of the Balkan route, a corridor of about one thousand kilometers to reach the borders of Hungary. It represents an escape way for an always growing number of migrants who leave Greece due to the economic crisis and to the heavy pressures exerted by the police and by extremist right wing groups.

With the help of traffickers the migrants travel through the Balkans to search for a better future in Europe. The Balkan route, which is the third most important access in terms of number of entries into Europe, can be considered relatively safe. There are different witnesses on the way the migrants are treated: some of them find shelter in the reception camps made available by the Serbian government, others report that they are not accepted and are forced to sleep in the woods. 

Others say the inhabitants of the Balkan region accept them while some migrants accuse the police of stealing their money and of using force to refuse them entry. Despite this, all of them want to continue their journeys, hoping to find in Europe a safe shelter from wars and famines they have left behind in their countries.

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Balkan route – another way to reach E...
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
21 Sep 2015

Between Serbia and Macedonia runs the imaginary line of the Balkan route, a corridor of about one thousand kilometers to reach the borders of Hungary. It represents an escape way for an always growing number of migrants who leave Greece due to the economic crisis and to the heavy pressures exerted by the police and by extreme right wing groups. With the help of the traffickers the migrants climb up the Balkans to search a better future in Europe. The Balkan route, which is the third most important access in terms of number of entries into Europe, can be considered relatively safe. There are different witnesses on the way the migrants are treated : some of them find shelter in the reception camps made available by the Serbian government, others report that they are not accepted and are forced to sleep in the woods, others say the inhabitants of the Balkan region accept them while some migrants accuse the police of stealing their money and of using force to refuse them to entry.  Anyway, all of them want to continue their journeys, hoping to find in Europe a safe shelter from wars and famines they have in their countries.

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Balkan route – another way to reach E...
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
21 Sep 2015

Between Serbia and Macedonia runs the imaginary line of the Balkan route, a corridor of about one thousand kilometers to reach the borders of Hungary. It represents an escape way for an always growing number of migrants who leave Greece due to the economic crisis and to the heavy pressures exerted by the police and by extreme right wing groups. With the help of the traffickers the migrants climb up the Balkans to search a better future in Europe. The Balkan route, which is the third most important access in terms of number of entries into Europe, can be considered relatively safe. There are different witnesses on the way the migrants are treated : some of them find shelter in the reception camps made available by the Serbian government, others report that they are not accepted and are forced to sleep in the woods, others say the inhabitants of the Balkan region accept them while some migrants accuse the police of stealing their money and of using force to refuse them to entry.  Anyway, all of them want to continue their journeys, hoping to find in Europe a safe shelter from wars and famines they have in their countries.

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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

Media created

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Balkan migrant route 23
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
21 Jul 2014

The camp of Bogovadja accepts minors and families. The migrants who are not accepted by the center report that although there are available rooms the operators refuse to accept them even only to take a shower. The center director says that some rooms are kept free to eventually receive minors or families. The migrants also report that there were some cases of extortion and of request of sexual favors by the operators in exchange for hospitality in the center.

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Balkan migrant route 24
Obrenovac
By Mauro Prandelli
15 Jan 2014

“Each day thirty or forty people ask for hospitality” reports the person in charge of the reception center “Hotel Obrenovac”, near the village of Obrenovac at thirty minutes from Belgrado. Here the center director is the only one who can decide the assignment of the hotel rooms to the migrants who have the papers for the asylum request. At the Hoyel Obrenovac the migrants have three meals per day and as it is an open center they can go out and stay in the village. It is reported of occasional conflicts between the migrants and the inhabitants of Obrenovac. The Hotel Obrenovac was damaged only during the flood in May 2014.

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Balkan migrant route 21
Banja Koviljaca
By Mauro Prandelli
21 Jul 2014

In the center of Banja Koviljaca, as in many others reception centers, the migrants can use the internet access and thus maintain the contacts with their friends and their families.

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Balkan migrant route 22
Banja Koviljaca
By Mauro Prandelli
21 Jul 2014

At Banja Koviljaca, at the border between Bosnia, Herzegovina and Serbia, the migrants are received in a center which was opened in 1991 to offer help during the Yugoslavian wars. In 2006 this center was renewed with the help of the UNHCR and of the INTERSOS and can now receive about 85 people.

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Balkan migrant route 20
Banja Koviljaca
By Mauro Prandelli
21 Jul 2014

S., 22 years old, has reached Serbia from Niger after three months and he is now waiting for some friends and relatives to get some money to continue his journey. Many migrants, especially if they are political refugees, fear to be recognized by the police and by the secret services of their origin countries and consequently fear possible retaliations on their families.

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Balkan migrant route 19
Banja Koviljaca
By Mauro Prandelli
21 Jul 2014

An Iraqi refugee has been given hospitality by the center of Banja Koviljaca. After staying in the center for some years he applied for the political asylum in Serbia and got it. Anyway, he can neither expatriate nor ask to join his family in Serbia. He is stuck in this bureaucratic limbo and, in the meantime, he helps as cultural mediator the people working in the center.

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Balkan migrant route 18
Banja Koviljaca
By Mauro Prandelli
21 Jul 2014

M., 20 years old, is North African but he declared to the authorities to be Syrian to be accepted by the reception camp and seek shelter in Europe as a refugee of the Syrian civil war.

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Balkan migrant route 17
Presevo
By Mauro Prandelli
08 Jan 2014

Near the city of Presevo, close to the borders between Serbia and Macedonia, the border police makes controls to stop the human trafficking. The arrested traffickers’ cars are kept in custody at the deposit of the barrack. The traffickers make different parts of the journey : the journey from Macedonia to Serbia is usually made by Albanian groups, while the journey inside Serbia is generally made by Serbian taxi drivers helped by some migrants dislocated near the Serbian reception camps.

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Balkan migrant route 16
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
24 Jul 2014

Afghanistan and Syrian migrants wait for the taxi to go to collect the money from a bank which is at few kilometers from Bogovadja. The day after they will leave for the Hungarian borders with the help of a taxi driver for 50 Euros per person.

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Balkan migrant route 15
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
25 Jul 2014

The contacts with the taxi drivers who bring the migrants to the Hungarian borders take place at the cafes, one of which is at the begging of the wood and the other at the end of the wood, along the road which passes through the whole country. To reach the Hungarian borders the taxi drivers ask the migrants to pay from 50 to 300 Euros. Many drivers work for the immigration racket, others prefer to work alone with their customers.

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Balkan migrant route 14
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
25 Jul 2014

The population of Bogovadja has different opinions on the presence of the migrants. Some of them accuse the migrants of small robberies, others see them as an economic source. In the winter of 2014 the citizens, also supported by extreme right wing groups, made a demonstration in Bogovadja to ask for control and safety against the migrants. After some months the citizens have got used to their presence.

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Balkan migrant route 13
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
24 Jul 2014

In the evening the migrants who do not stay in the reception camp go back to the wood in Bogovadja. S., a man from Sudan, was sent away from Macedonia, where he lived with his fiancée, due to legal problems and he is now trying to reach Europe to have a new life and start the legal steps to meet his son.

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Balkan migrant route 12
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
24 Jul 2014

During the Ramadan groups of migrants meet in the wood in the evening to share the Iftar, the only allowed meal during the Ramadan. Each migrant shares with the others what he can afford. After the Iftar those who stay at the reception camps go back to the center, the others seek shelter in the wood.

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Balkan migrant route 11
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
23 Jul 2014

The migrants on the Balkan route use the reception camps to rest before continuing their journeys. After signing some documents at the police office they can get a permission lasting for three days; after the three days they can either leave Serbia or ask for political asylum. Some centers offer legal support to start the requests.

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Balkan migrant route 10
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
21 Jul 2014

Minors and families are admitted in the camp of Bogovadja. If the weather is bad some migrants, who are not accepted in the camp, are allowed to sleep under the portico to protect from the rain.

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Balkan migrant route 09
Obrenovac
By Mauro Prandelli
14 Jan 2014

In the reception camp of Senica a woman has just arrived from the hospital after giving birth to a baby. The Syrian couple left the previous month from Aleppo, Syria, to go to Germany; the Syrian family can choose to stop in Serbia and start to apply for the political asylum or continue its journey to Europe.

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Balkan migrant route 08
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
01 Jan 2014

M. arrived at the wood in Bogovadja during the night. Together with other compatriots he found a shelter in an abandoned house in the wood where he could rest. In the afternoon, with the help of a friend, he wants to leave for Hungary and then reach his family in Germany.

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Balkan migrant route 07
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
31 Dec 2013

After staying in Greece for seven years working in various cooperatives in Athens, this Afgan decided to leave for Germany due to continuous persecutions from extreme right wing Greek groups. In Athens he left his fiancée hoping to meet her again in France. “If you see the world from far away, as from where God sees it, or with google maps, for instance, you will not see any border, but the closer you go, the more yellow lines you see. Who made all those lines? Certainly not God, but the human beings”.

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Balkan migrant route 06
Senica
By Mauro Prandelli
05 Jan 2014

M. is a 23 years old Sudanese boy. Together with his wife he arrived in Serbia through the east corridor of the Balkan route. He left Greece and then passed through Albania and Montenegro to arrive to the camp in Senica, Serbia, at few kilometers from the border with Montenegro.

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Balkan migrant route 05
Bogovadja, Belgrade
By Mauro Prandelli
02 Jan 2014

The migrants who find shelter in the wood organize their daily lives. Some of them get the wood to get warm by makeshift means, others collect money to buy something to eat and prepare at least a hot meal. The migrants of the same nationality tend to occupy the same houses, but sometimes the groups are made of migrants coming from different countries.

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Balkan migrant route 04
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
02 Jan 2014

Migrants who find refuge in the woods organize everyday life . Who procures the wood with makeshift equipment to warm up and who collects money for grocery shopping and prepare at least one hot meal .
Migrants tend to different houses to be occupied by nationality, although often the groups are made up of migrants from different places .

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Balkan migrant route 03
Bogovadja, Belgrade
By Mauro Prandelli
02 Jan 2014

In the wood in Bogovadja the migrants find shelter in old, abandoned houses. A group of Sudanese, escaped from a famine first and from a civil war then, prepare something to eat with makeshift means.

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Balkan migrant route 02
Obrenovac
By Mauro Prandelli
15 Jan 2014

“The first time the immigrants arrived in the village we were surprised and worried. I had never seen such black men in all my life”. The inhabitants of the Serbian countries, where the migrants seek shelter, are surprised to see them. At first suspicious and worried, then they realize that the migrants can be an economic resource for their activities. In Belgrade, not far from Obrenovac, where there is one of the biggest reception camps, the atmosphere is tense also due to the presence of extreme right wing and xenophobic groups which act inside the football supporters teams of the capital.

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Balkan migrant route 01
Bogovadja
By Mauro Prandelli
01 Jan 2014

The Balkan route is a corridor which passes through Macedonia and Serbia to arrive to the borders of Hungary. Since the situation in Greece has become more difficult due to the economic crisis and the difficult life conditions, the migrants escape from the Hellenic peninsula and try to go through the former Yugoslavia to arrive in Hungary and then try to enter into Europe. After passing the border with Macedonia the migrants seek makeshift shelters in the Serbian woods and in the reception camps spread among the country.

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026 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
04 Apr 2014

The situation for Syrians in Turkey is still precarious. Since 2014, several demonstrations against Syrian refugees have taken place. At first welcomed by Erdogan, Syrians were left to their own devises. Those who can, try to immigrate and seek asylum in Europe. However, an increasing number of Syrian refugees are forced to live in limbo while they wait for the war to end and return to their country.

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023 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
04 Apr 2014

35 year old Mahmoud (not his real name) escaped from Aleppo after being wounded and having surgery on his stomach. He came to live in a room with his family in Istanbul. He canno€™t work or walk very well.

"We were escaping from Aleppo and a rocket fell close to the car. Splinters exploded and struck me in my stomach and the leg. When I arrived to Turkey, in the center, they fixed my wounds. Thank God I survived, but now the situation is very bad, we are left to ourselves and we don't know what the future holds. I think I want to go back to my country when the war ends, I have my land in Syria. Inshallah€."

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025 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
04 Apr 2014

Children who canno€™t afford to go to school wander Istanbul's city center seeking handouts or finding illegal jobs where they are exploited. Many children work up to 14 hours per day for little pay.

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021 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
04 Apr 2014

The hygienic situation in the poorest buildings is bad. There is no heating or drinkable water. In this building, every family rents a room no larger than 25 square meters and usually has only a small window. The restructuring plan of Erdogan aims to destroy this old building and erect a new one that Syrian refugees could not afford rent.

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022 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
04 Apr 2014

Often families have been forced to separate due to the war. Many mothers and wives have sons and husbands who fight in a war. Women are often left to take care of the children and fend for themselves while the men remain in Syria. Some of these woman are forced to walk several kilometers everyday to pick up the aid distributed by the associations. Syrian Women in need often complain that after an initial effort on behalf of both the Turkish government and the international associations, they were left to their own devices.

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019 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
02 Apr 2014

Farah comes from Damascus and has been in Istanbul for one year. When the war started in Syria she was pregnant. Her husband came to Istanbul and found a job and is able rent a house, which they share with another family. In this neighborhood, far from the touristic center of Istanbul, Turkish people are more polite and help Syrians by giving them food. The Mosque helps refugees by giving them bread and rice.

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020 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
04 Apr 2014

In the poorest neighborhoods, refugees can find a small room for 100/200Tl (40/80$)/month. Sometimes refugees occupy empty houses. Life here is very hard in these situations because the rooms usually do no€™t have heating and running water. The situation is very bad and they wonder why nobody does anything.

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018 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
02 Apr 2014

16 year old Omar is from Hasakeh. He and his family came to Istanbul on foot, helped by a smuggler, after paying 200$ per person.

He does no€™t go to school and works 14 hours per day as a button sewer to raise 150 Tl (65$) per week to help pay the rent of his house.

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015 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
02 Apr 2014

Middle class Syrians are able rent a flat for 300/400Tl (125/165$) near the neighborhood affected by the Erdogan's restructuring plan. The plan was set up to re-build some areas of Istanbul. These houses will soon be destroyed to make way for more expensive, modern high rise buildings.

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016 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
02 Apr 2014

Nahla and her family live in a small house with two bedrooms and a kitchen. There are ten people leaving there with seven children. All of the families fled Damascus. The men of the family work as carpenters or bricklayers to raise the money to pay the rent and food.

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017 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
02 Apr 2014

Sivan, a 45 year old man from Qamisli, has been in Istanbul with his family for five months and he canno€™t find a job. He is Syrian-Kurdish and this makes it more difficult to find work in Istanbul. He says he came to Istanbul by bus. Due the fact that he cannot find a job, he is not able to pay his rent. His rent is three months overdue and the the owner of the flat in which he lives in wants to force him out. He does no€™t know where he and his family will do in future.

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013 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
01 Apr 2014

A little girl sings a song about war:

"€œWe came to your feast, Through your celebration we are asking you, why now do we not have any feast?
O€™ World, my land is burned, my free land is stolen. Our sky is dreaming, asking days, where is the beautiful shiny sun?
Where are the pigeons flocks?
My little land, little like me, return peace to it and give us back our childhood,
Give us our childhood,
Give us, give us Peace."€

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014 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
01 Apr 2014

The flag used by the revolutionaries is still hung in all classrooms. Some schools publicly took a stand in support of the Syrian revolution, hanging the flag of the revolution on their walls.

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011 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
01 Apr 2014

According to the UNHCR, Syrian children (from 0 to 17 years old) account for about 55% of Syrian refugees in Turkey. Many of them have lived through traumatic events and have witnessed war first hand. Some of them suffer from psychological disorders resulting from what they have witnessed in Syria. Several associations were founded by the Syrian community to try and help Syrian children cope with their trauma, but lack of access to proper care is still a major problem.

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012 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
01 Apr 2014

One of the first things that the associations try to provide is education. Children in this school continue to study according to the Syrian curriculum. Some books are re-written and passages praising Bashar al Assad are deleted. In this school, Turkish and English are also taught.

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009 Syrian Odyssey
Istanbul, Istanbul
By Mauro Prandelli
31 Mar 2014

Everyday, many refugees come to the center to pick up clothes that the Association and the Mosque have collected for them. Families who flee from Syria usually leave all of their belongings in their homes and arrive in Istanbul with almost nothing.