Borderline: Frontiers of Peace (Porfolio)
From Portugal to Bulgaria, from Finland to Greece, photographer Valerio Vincenzo zigzagged along the length of nearly 20,000 kilometers of borders between the countries that are part of the European Union and/or the Schengen Area. Considering Europe’s history over the 19th and 20th centuries, full of scars, walls and trenches, these images document a silent revolution. Barely sixty years ago, the Schengen Area was merely a utopian notion. This photographic work shows a utopia that has become reality. Europe received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 for such an achievement. The Nobel Committee stated, ‘The union and its forerunners have for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.’
Today, the final words of this statement are being called into question, as indeed are the construction of Europe and the Schengen Area, too. Is Europe caught in a dilemma between its values and the pragmatic difficulty of enforcing them? Will the images included in this project end up relegated to history books, witnesses to a bygone age?
Borderline, Frontiers of Peace was awarded the 2013 Louise Weiss Prize for European Journalism, the first time that such an award has been granted to a photo project. The project has been exhibited numerous times, notably at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in 2015, St. Petersburg (Russia) in 2016, Brest and Orléans (France), Zagreb and Vukovar (Croatia) in 2017, Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina) and the fortress of Salses (France) in 2018, Amiens (France), Berlin and Bamberg (Germany) in 2019, Tallinn (Estonia) and Lübeck (Germany) in 2020, and Strasbourg (France) and Cuneo (Italy) in 2021. Valerio Vincenzo is currently extending his project to the now peaceful borders of the Balkans.
Copyright (c) 2021 Valerio Vincenzo
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