Fortress Europe

Europa, paradise of broken dreams

Documentary about the Illegal immigration in the EU borders and the aftermath.

Greece is the first gateway to entry in the EU with a 90% of immigrants crossing by the north of the country.
Immigrants arrives Istanbul by many ways, and once there are “storage in warehouses in secret places”. After bring in trucks t the border. Many immigrants arrives Istanbul as legal tourists. After take a bus by 22 euros and reach a point in the turkey-grece border. They pay to the organize crime mafias a amount of money to cross the river Evros between 200 and 2000 euros. A plastic boat for only 4 people is used to cross the river but most of the times it goes 9 or 10. People put nervous and stand up in the boat fall down into the water and died because don´t know swimming, by the cold water in winter or by heart attack.or drowned.
This is a short footage filmed in Istanbul, Orestiada, Nea Vyssa, concerning to the illegal immigration from Turkey to Greece.

filmed September 5 to 10th 2011.
camera footage: Canon 5D Mark II, 1920×1080 HD

Photojournalists & writers:
Wiktor Dabkowski join the project in september 2011. Wiktor had been working in the polish border with Russia.
Delmi Alvarez, photojournalist and writer working for Diena newspaper and Getty Images/Global Assignment.


We work always with fixers. In Orestiada we had Nikos but there is one more girl speak good english. Contacts by private email.

The video is a part of a multimedia story and project about the borders of EU and the immigration issues.


[The whole project intention]
Fortress Europe is a documentary project started in 2002 about the european borders, human rights, immigrants.
Karolina Kottova is spokesperson in the Commission of the European Union and had been in the border Greece and Turkey in november of 2010 and a eyewitness of the situation in the detention camps.

On Friday 5th of November EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström visited Orestiada in Greece, following the deployment of the EU Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABIT) to support Greece in controlling its border. Waiting the confirmation for a interview with the Commissioner.

“This is a unique expression of European solidarity”, said Cecilia Malmström. ” Greece is under heavy pressure and the Rapid Border Intervention Teams can help to get control of the situation while also assisting Greece in building up its own capacity. At the same time, Greece must, with European help, create a well-functioning asylum system. The humanitarian situation is very worrying.”

During her stay in Greece, Cecilia Malmström visited the border area, spoke with the RABIT teams and visited a detention centre for those who have crossed the border. There are photos available from the trip here.

“The situation in Greece is distressing”, says Cecilia Malmström. “In the first half of 2010, a total of 40,000 illegal border crossings were reported by the Greek authorities. Greece currently lacks the sufficient capacity to uphold the procedures set up for border control and for the identification of individuals who could be in need of international protection.”

On the 24th of October Greece requested the European Union to activate the Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABIT) to help monitoring a 12.5 kilometre long stretch of the border between Greece and Turkey. The aim is to rapidly assist the national border authorities during a limited period of time. This first ever deployment of RABIT since their creation in 2007 will bring together 175 border control specialists from 26 Member States and countries taking part in the Schengen agreement.

Greece has been having difficulties for a long time in dealing with the large number of people who comes there from countries outside of Europe. Many get stuck in Greece while waiting for Greek authorities to process their asylum applications and other documents. At the same time, migrants continue to arrive from mainly Africa and the Middle East. Lately, the number of people entering the EU via the Greek land border with Turkey has increased drastically. This weekend, the Greek government requested EU support to be able to deal with the situation.

“The humanitarian situation is very difficult and Greece does not have the capacity for the procedures needed in order to identify those who could be in need of international protection”, says EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström who is responsible for asylum and migration issues on an EU level.

Other spots of the Fortress Europe project
Lampedusa (Italy)
Almería (Spain)
Ceuta and Melilla (Spain)
Canary islands (Spain)

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