Why nature also suffers from the war
for NZZ am Sonntag and written by Andrea Jeska
Ukraine is home to some of the last primeval beech forests in Europe, a Unesco-recognized World Heritage Site. They are still intact. But the war is endangering their existence. A loss of biodiversity already existed before the war. Now, an already tense situation is worsening and also preventing improvements, as all relevant activities and investments have virtually ceased.
Glimpse of Hope
The Kurdish people have been persecuted, chased and murdered throughout history. What has always served as a glimpse of hope throughout dark times, is the dream that Kurdish people have the freedom to live their culture, speak their language and build a community under their ideals. In small regions in the Middle East, the Kurdish liberation movement has been able to establish this. One of those is in northern Iraq. The autonomous region of Kurdistan has its own government and a standing corps, the Peshmerga. Within the autonomous region of Kurdistan lay the politically independent Kandil mountains, known as the place of retreat of the Kurdish Workers’ party PKK that is viewed as a terror organisation by many Western states. Here people live under the ideals formulated by Abdullah Öcalan. All this utopia is shaken by internal and external conflicts. The Kandil mountains are targets of Turkish military operations also killing civilians. The Kurdish liberation movement accuses the autonomous region of Kurdistan to tolerate and support this. The struggle therefore continues and the death tolls amongst Kurds keeps rising.
The people behind the border
long-term documentary project.
Far from the public gaze, Bihać, a small town in north-western Bosnia-Herzegovina, has become a focal point of migration to Europe. Since February 2021 approximately 300 to 400 young refugees live in several abandoned buildings across Bihać, stranded during the attempt to cross into the European Union. People search for alternatives to official camps that are overcrowded, in horrendous conditions and set up in remote areas. In 2021 the two biggest self-organized shelters in Bihać are an old paper factory and an unfinished retirement home, called „Dom Penzionera“. The shells are in a very bad condition with no windows, electricity or running water. Heating and cooking is only possible with open fire. The inhabitants are mostly left on their own, as aid work is criminalized, with just a few inhabitants of Bihać and international activists secretly supporting them. Most of the young men that live here have tried to reach Croatia numerous times. Often they are stopped by the Croatian authorities and violently deported back to Bosnia. Some even report, having gone to “the game”, as they call the attempt to cross the border, up to thirteen times. Very little is known about the people forced to live behind the border, their fears, what they experienced and what they wish for. Therefore, the concept of the project is, to let the people who are affected, participate in the representation of the situation. Handwritten letters are juxtaposed with portraits in front of a neutral background, so the poor conditions they live in do not distract from their faces and words. This is an attempt to counteract the dehumanization they are exposed to every day. The people were given as much time as they wanted to decide what and how much they wished to share. The surrounding images additionally show the reality of their everyday life.
No escape from Calais
for Neues Deutschland
There are places that lie within Europe, where the suffering of the people is no less bearable. Mainly people from Eritrea, Sudan, Ethiopia and Iran live here. Most of them came to Europe crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Most of the people in Calais didn’t get any papers in other European countries. That’s why their last hope is to get to Great Britain and apply for asylum there, outside of the EU.
Now they stand again in front of a sea border, with the hope to get help in England. And England helps - but not the people on the move. They pay for money to finance French coast guards and police to keep people from coming across the so-called "English Channel" to England. At the same time crossing the sea sneaking onto the train or ferry is nearly impossible due to massive surveillance by French and British authorities. Most of the people stuck here make the dangerous attempt to cross the sea with small rubber boats in the middle of the night.
Simultaneous the politicians tries everything to make them invisible by pushing them outside of the city, and make the city attractive to tourists.
LUFTRETTUNG EMDEN (NHC)
Wer auf einer der ostfriesischen Inseln medizinische Versorgung durch ein Krankenhaus benötigt, wird sie kennenler- nen: Die Luftrettungscrew der Firma „NHC“. Mit ihren Helikoptern sind sie für den Rettungsflugdienst an der ostfriesi- schen Küste verantwortlich. In Emden steht jeden Tag von Sonnenauf- bis untergang ein Helikopter für Einsätze bereit.
So können kranke oder verletzte Inselbewohner:innen und Tourist:innen schnell in die nächstgelegene Klinik zur weiteren fachärztlichen Behandlung geflogen werden. Bei den meisten Einsätzen handelt es sich um medizinische Verlegungen, d.h. um Transporte von Patient:innen, die nicht in akuter Lebensgefahr schweben.