People to trade
In the end of 2012 I travelled to Aleppo, Syria, to document the conflict between Syrian rebels and Government. This was my first freelancing project as a war correspondent. I spent six days on the frontlines. I’ve never imagined that I would witness scenes similar to those from World War II. After I came back to Bulgaria I thought I have left the war far behind my back. But a few months later I proved myself wrong - refugees from Syria arrived at the doorstep of Europe – my home country Bulgaria.
Ten years have passed, but not much has changed, apart from the millions of people who were left homeless, and the hundreds of thousands who perished. I started documenting the refugees. It became my personal cause to show the problems of these people. I followed them on foot across borders, witnessing their attempt to find security. The negative perception towards the larger waves of refugees became an instrument for political parties, who used the crisis to accomplish their agenda. Refugees became people to trade with.
In 2017 the so called capital of ISIS – Raqqa was liberated, but destroyed. I felt that is time to go back to Syria. I found myself midst collapse and destruction - perfect monument of War.
In Feb 2020, the Turkish President declared that Turkey will open its borders, not preventing refugees from crossing to the EU This prompted an influx of migrants and refugees to the border with Greece, where authorities started using tear gas, smoke grenades and rubber bullets to prevent entries. The Turkish military forces cut the accesses to the border for journalists but I was able to pass the checkpoints, hiding among refugees and managed to capture the situation.
When I first arrived in Aleppo I have never imagined that almost ten years later I would be documenting the continuation of the same story, but back home. Globalization made the butterfly effect quite evident – bombs might be falling thousand of kilometres away, but you feel the blast on your doorstep.
New wave of migrants gathers around the Turkish-Greek border amid rumours that they will be left to freely cross to the EU.
Boy holds a child while after they've been transported close to the border between Serbia and Hungary and left to cross illegally on foot.
Father and his son, both from Aleppo, crossing illigaly the border between Serbia and Hungary. The father sings to the boy.
A child sleeps next to an AK-47, left by his father, in a school used as the rebel’s base in Aleppo.
A truck with the bodies of two elderly people and one child, perished because of a cannon shell that had fallen in a civilian building in the city. Al-Assad’s army purposely bombards the civilian population, to cause fear and make the citizens of Aleppo pass in the part of the city, controlled by the governmental armies.
Young rebel boy pose for picture before going on a mission to kill a pilot hiding into a near village.
A fighter of FSA, the band on his forehead reads: ‘Allah is Great’ and ‘There is no God except Allah’. These types of black bands are characteristic of the Jabhat al-Nusra group.
The war is led in city conditions, many of the streets are “covered” by al-Assad’s snipers, and daily the civilian population of the city is subjected to being in the scope of fire and inhuman living conditions of constantly being a target.
A moment from a protest procession in the streets of Aleppo after the Friday prayer. The sign of the two raised fingers means both peace and war, and the sign with one finger raised up means “Until Death”.