With no Ithaca awaiting
'With no Ithaca awaiting' are humanizing mediums.

They tell you that people whose stories are mostly brought to you in generalizing numbers, are in fact individuals.

The news says that 100 people drowned, 72 people were rescued, 2200 people asked for asylum, 17300 people vanished at the Mexican border. But these pictures are not news facts: they show you persons, and sceneries. They show you that all people are different. When you look at the individuals in these pictures, you know what needs to be done, you know that spheres of kindness should be created where they can rest, be safe, have a good meal, play some stupid games, have a good conversation, sleep under clean sheets, take nice warm and soapy showers.

Individuals are present in the pictures, but these spheres of kindness are absent. There is no kindness in the landscapes, under the artificial lights, on the roads, or at the river shore. The people in the pictures look at you and tell you how much strength it requires to take the decision to leave everything behind. To have left your home, means to be present in a landscape that tries to kick you out, and that keeps kicking and kicking and kicking.

If you look closer though, you find that in a landscape that pushes people out, on a road that was not made for them, in front of a trailer that was not made to bring them to their destination, somehow kindness manages to replace hostility.

The man in the blue shirt on the trailer is smiling when he helps carrying a stroller stuffed with clothing and food on the trailer, the girl above him in a black shirt is smiling, a man with a big blue bag on his lap seems to be smiling while (his?) girls are looking for a place to sit. Strong hands are holding the weaker ones, making them stronger. A child decides that it needs its bicycle, and then a space is found for it where there was no space, because different people need different things when they undertake their journeys.

This is the kindness of people that share their strength. The kindness of people that understand each other’s fate, the kindness of people that know that in a hostile environment, the human remedy is to create a sphere of friendly smiles.

Dr. Menno Van der Veen

(Dutch writer and founder of Urgent Foundation)

Felix Marquez

Félix Márquez is an independent photographer based in Veracruz, Mexico. Márquez has specialized in covering the war against drug trafficking in Mexico, migration, human rights and childhood in Latin America.
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