Make It Home

by Maria Elisa Ferraris

Cyprus is the European country with the highest percentage of asylum seekers in relation to the local population. Here, recent and past history mix indiscriminately.

The flow of immigrants to Cyprus began ten years ago and continues today, a humanity piling up, pushing, waiting for passage. According to UN figures, between 2002 and March 2022, a total of 106,030 people applied for asylum in the Republic of Cyprus, but only 16,070 were granted protection. They are mainly Somalis, Afghans, Syrians, Pakistanis and Nigerians, often arriving by plane from Turkey on ‘student visas’ to the Turkish part of the island and then crossing the border into the Republic of Cyprus, a European territory. There they remain stranded for years, waiting for the outcome of their asylum application, which is often rejected.

The images that follow are therefore the result of an on-going project that aims, through photographs and audio recordings and a return to the individual, to the small stories, to the silent spaces, to investigate the contradictions of a dreamed territory: Europe.