Photograph by Giorgos Moutafis

Climbing to Another Continent

  1. 1

    June 18, 2014: About 400 sub-Saharan Africans who traveled north to Morocco try to scale the razor-wire-topped, 20-foot-high fences that separate it from the tiny Spanish territory of Melilla. Those who succeed find themselves in the EU and are placed in a temporary refuge; they’ll either be returned to Morocco or granted asylum in Europe.

    Photograph by Giorgos Moutafis
  2. 2

    Workers install anti-climb fencing along the border separating Melilla from Morocco in North Africa. One thousand eight hundred migrants made it over Melilla’s fences in 2014. Last year’s total was 1,070.

    Photograph by Giorgos Moutafis
  3. 3

    A sub-Saharan migrant is seen on top of a fence before he was pushed back into Morocco by Spanish border police in the early morning of June 14.

    Photograph by Giorgos Moutafis
  4. 4

    Refugees from Syria living at CETI, Melilla’s temporary immigration center. More than 2,000 people are living in the shelter, which has an official capacity of 472.

    Photograph by Giorgos Moutafis
  5. 5

    Migrants from Mali warm up around a fire outside the center.

    Photograph by Giorgos Moutafis
  6. 6

    Undocumented children from Morocco and Algeria wait at the port of Melilla for the right moment to climb onto a truck heading to Malaga. The hope is to stow away on one of the trucks loaded onto Spain-bound ships and ferries. Day and night, they sprint after the trucks as they pass through the gates, trying to latch onto the doors or crawl into the wheel wells.

    Photograph by Giorgos Moutafis
  7. 7

    The fence between Morocco and Spain’s North African territory of Melilla is 11.5 kilometers long.

    Photograph by Giorgos Moutafis