• Romain BARO

You have to blow

The Aegean Sea stretches out as a blue paradise, a tourist’s destination echoing the collective imaginary world.

For refugees, it’s first of all a wall. Some kilometre-long obstacle to Europe; an area watched over by frigates night and day. From Turkish coasts, the island of Lesbos looks like a promise. A blurred vision of a land to tread at all costs, at the risk of losing one’s life.

Witnessing the sea sweeping along bodies, some inhabitants of the island have built a cemetery. An improvised place of refuge away from villages. A few dozen graves can be seen in the reddish-yellow earth. The unique traces: slabs of marble into the ground mentioning some age or name, but sometimes none of this. Some bodies could not be identified.

A plain, picked-up stone adorns the grave in a silent starkness.

A few miles away, the blue of the sea prevails. In the small town of Neapoli, refugees get in contact with water again, helped by NGO volunteers. For some of them, coming from Central Africa or Afghanistan, the very vision of the sea is a
discovery. Children and adults learn to swim to overcome trauma, to start afresh, to remain decent.

Romain BARO

Romain Baro was born in 1988. He lives and works in Nantes.

He grew up in Lorient, in a city razed to the ground by the war and hastily rebuilt. From an early age on, he was strongly influenced by this environment, thus nurturing an imaginary world and questioning the role of fiction.

He graduated from the Nantes School of Arts in 2011 and has been interested in the different registers images are displayed and broadcast.

His various collaborations with the Press led him to question the value of information and the status given to documentary photography.
His taste for research is at the root of every project. His interest for investigation is then triggered by either a social, political or cultural observation. Getting back to the origin of the experience, testing the ground, spotting clues is then necessary.

Accessing to communities, places or objects specific conditions, is a way for him to encourage the understanding of narratives,
territories and systems. Noticing the interactions between human beings and their environment is at the core of his process.