Kabul, Paris

The story of five young Afghans on the road to exile, from Kabul to Paris. Twelve thousand kilometers, six borders to cross illegally.

The five friends sacrifice everything in the hope of a better life, and their dreams are brought face to face with reality.

Too often described by numbers, migrants have become a disembodied mass in the collective unconscious. They are photographed with police cameras like lawless bandits. We perceive them as hordes of zombies invading Calais or Melilla. They are showed to us crammed like cattle on the skiffs of Lampedusa.

Here, no such thing. We watch the road, we discover the sea, girls in miniskirts, skyscrapers, through the eyes of Luqman, Fawad, Khyber, Jawid and Rohani...  These significant moments are mingled with unbearable stops: this is the duality of illegal migration. She invariably fluctuates between emergency and boredom, ecstasy and depression, hero and zero.

 L'histoire de cinq jeunes Afghans, sur la route de l'exil de Kaboul à Paris. Douze mille kilomètres, six frontières à franchir clandestinement.

Les cinq amis laissent tout dérrière eux dans l'espoir d'une vie meilleure, et leurs rêve se confrontent avec la réalité.

Trop souvent réduits à des chiffres, les migrants sont devenus une masse informe dans l'imaginaire collectif. Ils sont photographiés par les dispositifs policiers comme de vulgaires voyous. Nous les percevons comme des hordes de zombies envahissant Calais ou Melilla. On nous les montres entassés comme du bétail sur des embarcations de fortune vers Lampedusa.

Ici, rien de tel. On regarde la route, on découvre la mer, les mini-jupes des filles, et les grattes ciels, vus des yeux de Luqman, Fawad, Khyber, Jawid et Rohani... Ces instants d'innocence sont arretés nets par des barrières insurmontables: voilà le paradoxe de la migration clandestine; elle alterne sans cesse entre ennui et urgence, ecstase et dépression.


Kabul, Paris

Kabul, Afghanistan 30/03/2013 Rohani and Jawed.
Afghanistan 28/03/2013 Jawed and Rohani hiding in a relative's house. They can not go back home in Wardak province because of the Taleban threat.
Jalalabad, Afghanistan 06/04/2013 Rohani waiting in front of the smuggler's house.
Jalalabad, Afghanistan 08/04/2013 The smuggler is answering Rohani, Fawad and Jaweed's questions about the payment and the risks of the road.
 Khyber pass, Afghanistan 19/04/2013 The small "chaikhana" (tea house) where the travelers spent the night before crossing the Torkham border.
 Lahore, Pakistan 23/04/2013 Rohani, Fawad, Luqman and Jaweed walking towards the stash.
 Between Peshawar and Lahore, Pakistan 23/04/2013 Rohani in the bus going from Peshawar to Lahore at night.
n the train between Lahore and Karachi, Pakistan 24/04/2013 Lukman in the train to Karachi.
Urumia, Iran 14/05/2013 Fawad and Hedayat in the stash.
 Urumia, Iran 15/05/2013 Khyber, Jaweed worried about the cold weather in the moutains crossing.
Between Urumia, Iran and Van, Turkey 16/05/2013 Rohani and Luqman after a night of walking the Kurdish mountains, Iranian side.
 Between Urumia, Iran and Van, Turkey 16/05/2013 Fawad and Hedayat after a couple of hours sleeping in the Kurdish mountains, Iranian side.
 Between Urumia, Iran and Van, Turkey 16/05/2013 An Afghan traveler is helping the only woman in the group.
Between Urumia, Iran and Van, Turkey 16/05/2013 The Kurdish smugglers are guiding the travelers towards a new route across the Iranian mountains.
Turkey 16/05/2013 The Kurdishs smugglers took the group inside Turkish territory. The travelers are waiting for the cattle truck to take them to Yüksekova city (Gewar, in Kurdish language).
Van, Turkey 18/05/2013 The stash in Van city is a house being built.
 Van, Turkey 19/05/2013 Jaweed is taking the smuggler's number in case he gets arrested.
On the road between Van and Istanbul, Turkey 20/05/2013 Luqman in the bus sitting next to Rohani.
 Istanbul, Turkey 20/05/2013 Rohani is taking the tramway for the first time in his life to go to the hideaway. In Instanbul, police rarely arrest migrants.
Istanbul, Turkey 26/05/2013 The stash is in Kumkapi neighborhood.
 Istanbul, Turkey 25/05/2013 The smuggler provides the food for the Afghan migrants in the stash. they eat beans, yogurt and bread twice a day.
 Istanbul, Turkey 23/05/2013 Rohani had never seen the sea before arriving in Istanbul. They can walk out every evening because police rarely arrest Afghan migrants.
Kushadasi, Turkey 28/05/2013 Rohani, Jaweed waiting in a field for the smugglers to pick them up and take them to the boat to Greece.
Kushadasi, Turkey 28/05/2013 About 30 Afghan and Iranian migrants are waiting in a field for the smugglers to pick them up and take them to the boat.
Kushadasi, Turkey 28/05/2013 Fawad is running away from the Turkish police that arrived in the field after the owner complained.
Between Turkey and Greece 29/05/2013 28 Afghan and Iranian migrants are seating on the inflated zodiac going towards Samos, a Greek island.
Between Turkey and Greece 29/05/2013 28 Afghan and Iranian migrants are going towards Samos, a Greek island. With a small engine, it is a 4 hours trip on the sea.
 Istanbul, Turkey 15/07/2013 Hedayat could not stand waiting anymore and burnt his arm with a cigarette.
 Between Catania and Messina, Sicilia, Italia 30/07/203 Fawad and Luqman.
. Messina, Italia 30/07/2013 Fawad and Luqman are sleeping outside before embarking on the ferry to the mainland.
Pachino, Sicilia, Italia 30/07/2013 Luqman is having a shower in the harbor marina.
 Menton, France 02/08/2013 Luqman and Fawad are crossing the tunnel of Menton following other Afghan migrants walking 2 by 2.
Between Nice and Paris, France 02/08/2013 It is the first time Luqman talks to French girls in his life. The 2 teenagers on their way back from vacation camp will never know they met Afghan illegal migrants.
Paris, France 02/08/2013 Luqman and Fawad arrive in Gare de Lyon, one of the train station in Paris without being arrested by the police.
Paris, France 03/08/2013 Luqman and Fawad in a street near "Parc Villemin" where other Afghan migrants, including lone minors, are sleeping.