The Road to Germany

Map depicting different stages of a route from Izmir in Turkey to Germany, which was one of the main routes to Europe used by refugees from Syria and the Middle East in 2015. It is a diagrammatic representation of the so-called Western Balkan route – from Turkey to Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary and into Western Europe. Each stage of the route is represented by a graphic depicting the relevant mode of transport, accompanied by the likely cost and the currency. The destination is marked with two dancing stick figures. In 2015 this map was frequently exchanged over WhatsApp, and other social media applications, between Arabic-speaking refugees. The map is an example of the sort of ephemeral information people can end up relying on if a journey they are making is deemed illegitimate. When border fences in Hungary were erected in late 2015 early 2016, the route as depicted in this map became less relevant to those trying to reach Europe. Further reading: Marie Gillespie et al 'Mapping Refugee Media Journeys: Smartphones and Social Media Networks' (Open University/France Medias Monde Research Report, October 2016).

Object Details

ID: ZBA8919
Type: Map; Born digital
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Date made: circa 2015
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: 1.24MB; 96 dpi

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