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(Un)welcome, by Marko Risović

Look in the face of the man behind the barbed wire. Look into his eyes and don’t look away! An entire life fit into that look of hope, anguish, shame and defiance. A man, like any other, of flesh and blood, with his hopes, fears, successes and disappointments, small rituals and big dreams, forced to leave his war-torn home and destroyed country, was sitting in the middle of nowhere, and the only thing that he truly wanted at that time was to have wings.

Rivers of people similar to him streamed the roadless areas of the Balkans, demanding every crevice through which to slip so they could join the main stream, the one that led to the promised safe harbor, refuge from the insanity of the war, and to the peaceful nights without the sounds of bombs and screams of the dying.

During the 2015, refugee crisis caused by the war in Syria and the unfavorable political situation in the Middle East has escalated to enormous proportions. As a result, hundreds of thousands of refugees have started moving along unsafe routes, looking for a better and safer life in Western Europe. Balkan countries have found themselves on this route. Although these countries were not a destination for any of the refugees, the human tragedy was followed by many heartbreaking scenes, questionable political decisions and tensions in the region. Many demonstrated duplicity, saying that refugees are more than welcome, while closing the borders and aggravating to the maximum their journey.

The truth, written on the faces of these people, can easily be decoded.