Migrants and Refugees Who Never Made it Commemorated in Croatian Exhibition

A collection of portraits of migrants and refugees who lost their lives on the so-called Balkan Route to Western Europe has opened in the Living Atelier DK gallery in Croatia's capital Zagreb.

The exhibition, entitled "The Passage", commemorates people "whose lives were taken by the relentless European death regime". According to the show's organisers, the intention is to create "a passage from the normalization of border tragedies to communal learning, empowerment, and care".

The 36 memorial portraits were made in red and black thread on botanically dyed fabric and then merged into a large panel. It is the joint work of artists, researchers, translators, and members of the Women to Women collective, which brings together local women and refugees in Zagreb.

Eight of the portrayed persons lost their lives in the river Mreznica near the Croatian town of Karlovac. Among them are Rachid and Abdallah from Morocco whose bodies were buried in the local cemetery in June 2020. Cases of drownings of migrants and refugees on the border between Croatia and Slovenia are also covered.

Another memorial portrait depicts a six-year-old girl Afghan girl, Madina, who died in 2017 after being hit by a train "after she and her family were pushed back from Croatia to Serbia".

The exhibition also pays tribute to an unnamed 20-year-old Syrian who died in Slovenia in the winter of 2019 from hypothermia and exhaustion, and 28-year Ahmad from Afghanistan who died last year from a hornet sting near the Croatian town of Otok.

There is also a portrait of 19-year-old Yasa from Egypt, who died in a container shipment transporting fertilizer from Serbia to Paraguay. His remains were found in October last year in Asunción, Paraguay, together with six other...

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