Mikkel Hørlyck (DK) "No Man's Land" - Helphoto 2023




No Man’s Land
Mikkel Hørlyck captures a stark reality in Northwestern Bosnia, where approximately 10,000 refugees and migrants have gathered, seeking a path to the EU. Standing in their way are 6,500 Croatian police officers, determined to keep them out.

In their pursuit of crossing the border to the EU, the refugees and migrants face brutal treatment from the Croatian police. They endure beatings, humiliation, and abuse, while their phones are destroyed, money and property stolen, and any chance of applying for asylum denied, forcibly sent back to Bosnia. This merciless method, known as ‘pushback,’ has persisted for six years, with the EU providing €150 million in support to strengthen the Croatian border police.

On the other side of the border, thousands of refugees find temporary refuge in abandoned buildings, old fabrics, makeshift shelters, and empty buses, with their primary focus set on crossing into Croatia. They refer to their journey as ‘The Game.’

The Mercilessness Of The Sea and No Man’s Land are two chapters within Mikkel Hørlyck’s larger project No Man’s Land, encompassing five chapters exploring migration to Europe. 

The accompanying photographs and chapter introductions shed light on the harsh realities faced by those attempting to navigate through this treacherous journey, exposing the immense challenges and hardships that define their pursuit of safety and a better life in Europe.

Mikkel Hørlyck (b. 1991) is an independent photojournalist and visual artist based in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2016 he was severely injured in an accident yet persevered and fully recovered by 2020. Being such an insightful period of his life he applies this experience in his stories. Mikkel studied at Fatamorgana, The Danish School of Art Photography, and holds a BA in Photojournalism from the Danish School of Media and Journalism. Previously, he worked as a photojournalist Intern at Politiken. He has received numerous awards such as the Discovery of the Year, the Lucie Awards, the Danish Picture of the Year, Vilnius Photo Circle and World Report Award.


Mikkel Hørlyck (DK) "No Man's Land" - Helphoto 2023
Mikkel Hørlyck (DK) "No Man's Land" - Helphoto 2023