The Road of Change

Tim Dirven

Tim Dirven

Tim Dirven

Tim Dirven

He was born in 1968 in Turnhout, Belgium. He studied photograpy at the Saint Lucas Institute in Brussels from 1988 till 1992. His studies in Belgium were followed by a specialisation year in documentary photography at the FAMU-Institute (Academy of Performing Art) in Prague.vIn 1994 Tim Dirven started working as a freelance photographer, and since 1996 he has been working fulltime for the Belgian newspaper ‘De Morgen’. He is living in Brussels and makes daily reports of Belgian news items.vDuring the years he made reports all over the world, on assignment for the newspaper, Belgian Red Cros, Medecins sans Frontières, Handicap International, National Geographic or as personal projects. Most of his work is black and white, and his photographs tell intimate stories about ordinary people.vHis pictures have been published in Belgian newspapers and magazines as well as in international publications. Between 1998 to 2017 he won several national and international contests.vIn 2002 he won in theWorldpress Photo a 3rd price in the category daily life stories with a report about refugees in Afghanistan. Since 2000 Tim Dirven has been a member of the London based agency Panos Pictures. His photographes where shown in many international exhibitions and museums. His first photography book “Yesterday’s people” is published in june 2006 by the museum of photography of Antwerp. His second photography book “Karkas” is published in september 2017 by Lannoo.

Chapter I “Dangerous country.”

In 2014, Raqqa became the capital of the Caliphate of IS. Raqqa became the capital of evil.Three years later, the SDF, together with an international coalition, put an end to the Caliphate by bombing for  four months. Since then nobody wants to rebuild the city. Raqqa has been a ghost town populated with disrupted families, mostly women and children. Families who had the opportunity have left the city and are on the run. They fled to neighboring countries and on to Europe in the hope to find a new future.

Chapter II “The game.”

From Turkey to Greece, the irregular border crossings are known as "The Game". Because police and refugees are in a daily hide and seek game. Refugees trying to enter the EU regulary abused by law enforcement officials in Western Balkan countries. Police at the border are known for being particularly ruthless, using dogs and rubber bullets intimidation. The police push the refugees back and deny access to asylum procedures to those seeking international protection.

Chapter III “The procedure.”

Refugees who have managed to reach Europe have a long and uncertain future ahead of them. Starting an asylum procedure is complicated and takes a long time before a decision is made. When they succeed, refugees can start a new future in his new country by learning a new language en culture. Many refugees  who do not succeed in the asylum disappear into illegality. Other refugees on the way to the UK are a pray for people smuglers and live in improvised camps where the hygienic conditions are inhumane.

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