The photo exhibit “Memories Left Behind,“ documenting refugees’ experiences on the Western Balkans route through children’s point of view, was launched on 17 October in Belgrade.
The photographs in the exhibition were shot by Milica Andjelkovic-Jovanovic of the International Organisation for Migration at various reception centres in Serbia. The author focused on shooting toys left behind by child migrants. According to the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, there are some 4,000 migrants and refugees in 13 reception and five asylum centres in Serbia. Most of the children are accompanied by their parents and around 500 of them attend school in Serbia. Some 100 children, however, travel unaccompanied.
The author says she chose to photograph children’s toys because “it’s all that’s left behind when these little souls, cradled in the arms of their families, through searing sun, driving rain and freezing cold, take giant steps to make haste to the Europe they dream of“.
The exhibition, organised by the EU Support for Migration Management in Serbia Project, has already toured several town across Serbia. It runs through 14 November at the EU Info Centre.
The European Union (EU) is the largest donor in the Republic of Serbia in migration management. Since 2015, with the increased mixed migration flows to the territory of Serbia, the EU has assisted Serbia with more than 98 million EUR in providing humanitarian aid and protection to migrants, in particular protection of children, providing conditions for reception and care in the reception and asylum centres, including food, health care and education, providing assistance to the local communities/municipalities hosting migrants to strengthen social cohesion, assisting Serbia in the protection of the state border and combating smuggling of migrants, as well as capacity building of the institutions dealing with migration management.