The Crossing Point

Fading hopes in a Greek refugee camp.


Photo essay by Rena Effendi

Syrian refugee inside his tent in Idomeni, Greece. March 2016. Photograph by Rena Effendi.

In the summer of 2015, in the small Greek town of Idomeni, I watched as a long and slow trail of people shuffled across fields and irrigation ditches, attempting to cross from northern Greece into Macedonia. At nightfall they treaded through forests where bandits and smugglers lurked. Mothers carried children, fathers were loaded with plastic bags of food, and young men equipped with tents navigated the unfamiliar terrain with smart-phones. Syrians, Iraqis, and Afghans, among others, were on their way to Europe, escaping the violence of war back home. Along with their meager food supplies and scarce belongings, their heaviest burden was the story they had escaped. A Kurdish man from Syria pointed to his phone with a YouTube video of Islamic State beheadings in his village.


Read the rest of this
feature in the print issue. 


Issue 1
Publication Date: May 17


Rena Effendi has published two books of photography concerning the effects of the oil industry on the lives of people in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey: Pipe Dream: A Chronicle of Lives Along the Pipeline (2009) and Liquid Land (2013). She has received many international awards for her work, including the Prince Claus Fund Award for Culture and Development, World Press Photo, and Getty Images Editorial Grand. Effendi’s work has been exhibited worldwide at the Saatchi Gallery, Istanbul Modern, and the 52nd Venice Biennale. 

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