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Running-up 2011

Gabriel Pecot

Hellas Hell


The series presented here documents how the human rights of thousands of refugee and asylum seekers are being violated as a result of the Greek government’s compliance with EU directives on immigration.

These photographs taken from January through April 2011 in the Greek port city of Patras give us a clear picture of the harsh daily reality of the scores of human beings, including legally recognised asylum-seekers, who are flagrantly being denied their freedom of movement and even the most basic humanitarian aid such as housing, food and medical assistance.

The majority of these people have fled conflicts in Darfur, Afghanistan and Syria. Once they become aware of the appalling conditions in which they are condemned to live in Greece, many risk their lives once again in attempts to move on to other countries within the European Union.

The only possibility these immigrants have of boarding a ferry bound for Italy is to clandestinely board one of the lorries that carry freight between Greece and Italy. Stronger port security measures have forced desperate refugees and asylum seekers to risk the danger of stowing themselves out of sight in some part of the undercarriage of these vehicles.


Freelance photojournalist. Gabriel Pecot was born in Buenos Aires in 1984 and began his study of photography at the school of the Association of Graphic Reporters of Argentina (ARGRA) in 2002. He moved to Spain in 2004 to continue his training and has since taken workshops led by photojournalists Gervasio Sánchez, Emilio Morenatti, Walter Astrada, Olivier Laban-Mattei and Bill Gentile.

Pecot began to take on professional assignments for the Spanish daily newspaper Público in 2007 and has been a regular contributor to the Argentine daily Clarín since 2009.

As a photojournalist, he covers both national and international events. Some of his most outstanding work includes his documentation of the 2010 earthquake in Chile, the 2011 refugee crisis on the Tunisian-Libyan border and the initial stages of the Libyan uprising in 2011.

In 2011, CEAR, a Spanish refugee aid organization, collaborated with the foundation Obra Social La Caixa to organise a traveling exhibition of Pecot’s photographs of refugees stranded on the Tunisian-Libyan border in an effort to raise public awareness of the critical situation suffered by people displaced by armed conflicts.

The photographer is now at work on a multimedia project that will document human rights violations suffered by immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Greece titled ‘Hellas Hell’.