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Say Goodbye Before you Leave

Enri Canaj

Self published

Publication date : 2022/01/01
Weight 1310 g / Dimensions 21.5 x 32 cm / 190 pages

Following the Arab Spring, this project started documenting the first boats with migrants on board reaching the EU waters in 2013, and was completed in 2020 with the last episodes of the tragic fire in Moria refugee reception center in Lesbos, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. It combines images of migration throughout various stages, showing people’s arrivals, the first years of the ones who made it to their destinations, and the situations of those who are still waiting on the other side.

I have been documenting people’s journeys for several years, moving from one country to the other in step with those people who allowed me to photograph them, capturing the initial reactions and circumstances of the first days in Europe and how these quickly turn into the first years. All of this was very familiar. Their present walked in parallel with my past.

I was 11 years old when my parents decided we had to leave our country. When you leave something behind, suddenly it feels like the umbilical cord has been cut. All the same, you don’t have the time to say goodbye; you must go on and embrace the pain within.

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