Images of refugees inducing the dangerous journey to Europe have filled news pages in recent months.
Often, these images are heart-breaking — presenting humen, women and children who have braved death in the Aegean Sea, survived in squalid camps or marched for days through European countries often reluctant to let them in.
One Canadian photographer who went to cover refugees’ passageway through Europe decided to show another face of the crisis — resilience amidst adversity.
Frederic Seguin, 26, captured portraits of children in moments of exhilaration as he traveled along the migrant route, from the refugee camps of Lebanon, through the shores of Greece, to the transit camps in Macedonia and finally to Germany — many refugees’ desired destination.
“The dramatic and tragic images we always consider tend to’ dehumanize’ the refugees, ” Seguin told The WorldPost by email. “Someone strong and smiling in the same tragic situation is a thousand times more powerful and touching.”
“Kids most of the time will be asking for images and will react with a smile to the camera, ” Seguin said.
More than a million migrants and refugees arrived in Europe last year, most fleeing war-torn Syria. One in five of those who fled via the Mediterranean Sea last year were children.
Despite the dangers of inducing the sea crossing at wintertime, and tightening perimeters in Europe, migrants and refugees continue to arrive in record numbers. Over 45, 000 people reached Greece by boat last month, more than 30 times the number in January last year.
See Seguin’s photo series’ Smiles in Exile’ below and visit his website to learn more about the project. All captions are by the photographer and have been softly edited.