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THE WAITING ROOMS OF EUROPE
The waiting rooms of Europe is a photographic essay on the immigration crisis along the southern border of the European Union. Conducted in Malta, Spain and Greece over a two year period, it concentrates on the problem of the wait endured by the migrants in these countries, which were meant to simply be transitory zones.
According to the Dublin Legislation, passed by the European Parliament in 2004, every refugee has to apply for asylum in the first European country they find themselves in, and stay there until a decision on their case is reached. However those countries which are the first to welcome them are unable to make quick decisions on each case, considering the amount of applicants they get and the little international help. They are therefore turned into huge waiting zones, political and administrative limbos. This state of things is being institutionalized by laws like the Dublin Legislation that try to contain the migrants in those countries unfortunate enough to have a border with the Mediterranean. The anguish, frustration and anger of the migrants caught in those transitory places are the main focus of this documentary. The project aims at conveying the frame of mind of the people and how they are suspended in time by being evocative rather than descriptive like a classic photojournalistic essay.
The project aims at showing that the final decision, acceptance or rejection of the migrant, does not matter as much as making sure that it is reached quickly, through a clear and coherent system throughout Europe, in order to make sure people don’t waste years of their lives pointlessly.
MALIKA GAUDIN-DELRIEU was born in France in 1990. She studied documentary photography at Newport University of Wales from 2008 – 2011 and her work focuses on social issues, particularly immigration. Malika won a bursary in Wales in 2009 and another in France in 2010 to pursue The Waiting Rooms of Europe which will be exhibited in Geneva in January 2012. In her work, Malika aims to convey the complexity behind every immigrant experience as well as give a voice to people who want to share their stories.
Malika is currently studying history at University in France and will complete her BA in June 2012.
More of Malika’s work can be viewed at her website.