I am a 25-year-old photographer for SWNS based in Birmingham, where I cover news across the UK, prior to which position I studied photojournalism in London. I have a strong interest in international news and affairs, particularly the causes and effects of modern migration. The Fixation Young Photographer bursary was an excellent opportunity for me to start covering some of the many localised issues that are part of the bigger migratory picture. I headed to Kos, a tiny Greek island popular with Western tourists, and one of the many locations used by migrants as a first port of call into Europe. A short stretch of water between the Greek shores and mainland Turkey makes the area an ideal crossing point, with Turkish smugglers facilitating the crossing to anyone with enough money. The mix of nationalities making the trip includes Syrians, Palestinians, Iraqis and Afghans fleeing war and horror, to Pakistanis and Bangladeshis migrating for work. Using inflatable boats, the migrants make it to shore or are picked up by the coast guard and granted asylum on the island, where they wait in refugee camps and hotels until they have the paperwork to continue on to mainland Greece and further. A huge thank-you to Fixation for providing me with the bursary and lending me gear for the trip – and, of course, for their brilliant repair service!
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