Go No Go
© Ad van Denderen
Thirty years ago, while shooting a story in eastern Turkey, photographer Ad van Denderen saw a brand new phenomenon: the start of today's massive migration.
Until then the world's poorest and most persecuted had fled to neighbouring countries when disaster struck. There they waited in refugee camps until they could go back home.
But in 1986, Van Denderen saw hostels full of young men who had absolutely no intention of going back. Their horizon was totally different. The immigrants wanted a better life and were on their way to Europe.
In Go No Go Van Denderen leads us along the edges of Europe where immigrants try to reach the West along smugglers’ paths, with varying success. He takes us to the police stations and refugee centres where, surrounded by their massive files, investigators try to determine the identities of the refugees. He shows us how men kill time in hostels until a band of smugglers can get them over the umpteenth border. He follows the refugees right up to the barbed wire by the rail tunnel at Calais, where they cut their way through and continue until they are confronted with the next fence laced with barbed wire.
publication: Go No Go