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Charlotte Schmitz published on CNN Photos
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Apr 16, 2016

Polaroids put personal touch on refugee crisis


More than 1 million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe last year, according to the U.N. refugee agency, and so far this year more than 173,000 have made the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean Sea.

Photographer Charlotte Schmitz wanted to see the crisis with her own eyes.

"It was something else to be there and to see people arrive to the island and kiss the ground and thank their God or friends that they made it," Schmitz said. "Because, of course, so many people didn't make it."

Schmitz used a Polaroid camera to photograph people who had left their homes in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries to seek a new life in Europe.

"Instant photography gives the people the possibility to write on the actual paper," she said. "That's why I decided on it -- so everyone could tell freely what he or she thinks or feels."

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