The reversed Grand Tour

From 20 September  till 9 Oktober 2016 I made a reversed Grand
Tour through Europe. The exploration and research trip was part of the
Tour Europa project and tried to find answers to the question what have
explorers, tourists, refugees, global shoppers,exiles, artists and other
adventurers in common?

Modern tourism can be traced back to the phenomenon of the Grand
Tour, a tour along the cultural treasures and cities of Europe. This tour
was mainly undertaken by young upper-class European men of means,
or those of humble origin who could find a sponsor. As an educational
rite of passage, the Grand Tour flourished from about the 16th century
up until the beginning of the 20th century when new means of transport
ushered in the era of mass tourism. Until today though the idea of
a tour through Europe remains to capture the imagination of people in
very different ways: while tourists from all over the world travel along
Europe’s cultural highlights, refugees travel Europe from place to place
in order to reach a save destination. Tourists, refugees, global shoppers,
exiles, artists and other adventurers, as travelers they stopover in the
same cities and seem to have an equal fascination for their destination,
Europe, even though they are treated quite differently.

On the one hand the refugee drama taking place around the Mediterranean
should not only be understood as a humanitarian issue of the highest
order, it also marks the profound problematization of the European
migration policy, more specifically the present control of borders.
European states tend to focus more and more on ‘mobility management’,
the mapping of all migratory movements in order to control
them. But the policy of reducing and anticipating on what appears on
the radar disregards attention for the causes of migration and the
reasons why refugees undertake their dangerous journeys. On the other
hand Europe welcomes every year millions of tourists who move freely
across the Schengen zone. Within this free travel zone cities are the
infrastructural nodes and destinations where people gather and exchange.
Cities have become brands that are pushed into the global market with
tourism as a main asset: traditions and local culture are being revived/
reinvented, tourist infrastructures improved and shopping concerns
accommodate the demands of tourists from countries with the highest
potential for economical growth.

Mobility and movement are important indicators of how European
states organize ‘the flows’ of immigration and tourism, and the interests
involved with it. It visualizes how Europe excludes and includes people
on the basis of political and economical interests.


A United Nations vessel patroling the waters between Turkey and Lesvos


Lesvos seen from Dikili, Turkey


Advertisement for boat and diving trips, Dikili, Turkey


Small boats used by refugees, Skala Sikamineas, Lesvos


The life jacket mountain at Molivos, Lesvos


Camp Moria, Lesvos


No comment (I think it is)


The Parthenon at the Acropolis, Athens


An abandoned UNHCR refugee camp at Thessaloniki, Greece


Skopje, Macedonia


Belongings of refugees, Afghan Park, Belgrade


Bristol Park near the station, Belgrade


Refugees waiting in line for food and clothes, Subotica, Serbia


The fence between Serbia and Hungary