Stuck in the cold of Belgrade
Belgrade is captured by an intense and cold.
The streets around the railway station are full of people in the frenzy of city life. A few dozen meters away, behind the central railway station, lies another reality, that of the barracks, the illegal camp of refugees trying to reach the border with Hungary. They live among rubbish and rubble, in the dark, without light, without baths, no kitchens, the living conditions are at the limit of the human. Smell of dirt and trash, a thick black smoke impregnates the surrounding air. Some of them show signs of wounds during attempts to cross the border with Hungary. The temperature below zero forces them to make fires to warm up. Fire is fueled by anything, plastic, rubber, waste, causing damage to breathing and health in general. Some have chosen to live in the old wagons but here the cold is even more intense than in the warehouses. People wash themselves outdoors with temperatures below zero, with water heated with bins or bottles placed near the fire. Despite the cold, gestures are accurate and natural, habit of a lost daily life. Some volunteer associations provide a hot meal daily. The queues are very long, some do not look up from the ground, wrapped in blankets. Equally long are the queues to get clothes and shoes, always too wide or too narrow. Volunteers also try to offer, above all, dignity, comfort, socialization with their presence with a word or moments of aggregation. They gather in front of the fire to smoke and talk about families, their dreams, their fears. They are just over a thousand, most of them are Afghani and Pakistani men and boys. People locked in Serbia can not go back and can not go on. The Barraks were demolished by the bulldozers in May 2017 to make room for gentrification and asylum seekers transferred to official camps far from the city and again invisible.