Our dreams

Southern Spain, Portugal and the Mediterranean south - for some the Iberian Peninsula promises sun, heat, a new attitude towards life, for others it embodies the hope of better financial conditions. It´s here, on the sunlit shores of Europe, where different forms of migration clash together like no other region of the world. Since the mid-80s, Portugal and Spain have experienced a steady influx of predominantly northern European people who are looking for alternative ways of life or a retirement home in pleasant climatic conditions. Similarly, many migrant workers make their way to these countries. The barely ending demand for the country´s monocultures and the constant flow of tourism promise at least some financial hope. This hope is driving residents of the African continent as well as many Eastern Europeans to leave their homes behind. For each of the emigrants, the boarders have a different height.

EU citizens can settle can without problems, get work or simply receive their pension, some others have easier access through their countries´ agreements or post-colonial rules on residence permits, while others risk their lives in crossing the borders. Does the "dream of emigration" fulfil itself? How do the people´s starting points affect what they finally find in this region? And how do the places change because of the migrants?

Together with the photojournalist Helena Schätzle I went in search of the varying paths of the emigrants, their varying dreams, motivations and realities of life.
The work will be continued next winter.