It’s been a long time since I last been on the field, helping, documenting and doing what I used to for the last year or so … After being back in Lesvos this last summer, I had to work on the documentary editing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to work on creative film project and that’s my first passion, though I couldn’t help but to feel upset by all what I knew was happening around me back in the places I’ve been …

So after finishing the first chapter of the documentary project I left straight to Paris where I’ve been told that help was needed.

Like I did last year, I filled Marcel with donation coming from local people and friends and I drove to Paris.

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There, I realized how bad was the situation of the country. As I heard from abroad, France wasn’t that a “welcoming place” and my first encounter was with the police who was  proceeding a raid in the street to clean the space.

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Indeed, I couldn’t tell how many migrant were there … 500 … 600 … 700 … It was insane …

 

All of them sleeping in the “Avenue de Flandre”, near the subway station of “Jaures”.

Most of them didn’t get anything : having a tent to sleep on it was a fancy that only the families could get, the rest of the people were just given a blanket … The life condition were insane.

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I first though that I was about to meet organization like “red cross” or “secours populaire”, but again I was wrong and the people I met there were just local people coming to help, exhausted, coping with the indignation to be the only ones to take care of these migrants.

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So the work in Paris was like doing everything by ourselves, collecting the bread early morning, asking the bakeries of the city to give out their unsold stock, preparing the breakfast for the hundreds of people starving, distributing in the street, in the park … asking for people to keep calm and “PLEASE” not to fight …

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After the breakfast, the lunch and the dinner …

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We would run all over the place trying to get clothes, hygienic products or anything else they would need …

The local people from Paris would give them information about the administrative procedures the migrants had to follow not to be sent back … they would give them direction to the hospital, to the hostels etc ….

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To be clear, 20-30 people were taking about 700 migrants everyday, doing the work the government and the organizations were supposed to do … there were exhausted and blank, as they could not understand why they were left alone trying to help these people.

There, I could feel the anger and the hostility coming from the country.

It was as if “You’re not welcome here, get out of my country” was written everywhere on the walls.

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Still, it wasn’t enough to discourage them and everyday, they’re on the streets … everyday, the hard work was the same … and they would return to their flat, to their families every evening … wondering why ?

Why this was happening in one of the most powerful country of the world ?

I guess I’ve got the answer …

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