Bite! magazine » Living The Lifes Of Prisoners

Trapped In Europe by Miguel Hahn and Jan Christoph Hartung November 12, 2010

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Introduction by Diederik Meijer

Miguel Hahn, and Jan Christoph Hartung are working on an ongoing project about immigration in the south of Europe. They are both studying photography at the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany.

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Artist Testimonial

Melilla is a spanish City which is located on the north coast of Morocco. There is considerable pressure from African and Asian refugees who try to enter Melilla, because it is part of the European Union.

The border is secured by the Melilla border fence, a six-meter-high double fence with watch towers. Still, refugees frequently manage to cross it illegally, avoiding attempts by Spanish police to take them back to their home countries.

The men shown on the Pictures are immigrants from Bangladesh who are waiting in Melilla for Visas to go to Europe. They have been there for a few months up to five years.

Each of them has a permission to stay in Melilla until they are packed off or they get their visa to go to the european Mainland. With this Status they are not allowed to work. Usually the Spanish authorities grant a work permission to anybody who stays for more than three years on Spanish ground. But as Melilla is an independent city, and far away from Madrid, the rules are different here.

The Bangladeshis staying in Melilla flew from poverty and natural disasters. They demand, what is their right by law: a residence permit for the Spanish mainland. Instead, they live the life of prisoners.

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