Interview on migration with Kristian Skeie

Interview on migration with Kristian Skeie

Kristian Skeie, a Norwegian, Swiss based award winning photojournalist, a contributor to Keystone SDA Photo Agency,  working with a number of organisations and publications as well as private clients. 

Explored topics have focused on post war humanitarian issues in places like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda and Iraq. Other topics have been on science and food as well as medical research. The watch industry in Switzerland, with its traditions and craftsmanship is also an area of fascination in the work by Kristian Skeie.

In addition to photography, Kristian Skeie also run regular photography workshops throughout Europe. He also teaches photojournalism at Webster University in Geneva, Switzerland.

The migration situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a provoked and unjust situation caused by the European Union closing the boarders about five years ago. The world is currently in a situation where there are an estimated 1 billion migrants on our planet. Many (around 760 million) are internally displaced, the rest are international migrants. It is not difficult to understand that many wishes to explore and try to find a better way of life for their families and themselves. With news about the world conflicts and disasters being updated 24/7, we know that life can be unbearable for many. Continued troubles in the middle east, conflicts on the African continent as well as complicated situations in south east Asia, Europe is seen as a safe heaven and a destination of hope for many. 
However, all is not what it seems. We are in the middle of a pandemic. The European Union is going through changes with unrest amongst the members. Brexit, a right wing movement with Hungary’s President Orban, Austria and others creating the ‘Identity and Democracy’ bloc furthering their right wing ideas and distancing themselves from the ideals often EU. Finding a common voice in Europe is seen as difficult. Bihac is the unlikely destinations where migrants hoping to reach the EU are stranded as the boarder to Croatia is closed. 
Migrants continues to try to reach the EU territory. Many experience extreme violence by the boarder police, particularly in Croatia. ‘Push backs’ from Italy, all the way back to Bosnia is spoken about regularly, even though this, of course, is against international law. The result is a serious humanitarian migrant situation in the northern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the poorest countries in Europe

This little 4 year old Iranian girl has lived her entire life as a migrant. The boarder between Bosnia and the EU has been closed for 5 years. Food distribution is ‘illegal’ in BiH. The boarder police arrived, gave a warning and asked everybody to leave. April 2021.

Food distribution near Sturlic, not too far from Bihac and on the boarder to Croatia by No Name Kitchen to refugee families. 



It’s difficult to question the unknown, it’s even harder to admit to yourself that there is an off chance that there is nothing more to life than itself. Reality can be scary if the truth is we struggle endlessly through a world of pain, ultimately getting swallowed by a void of darkness, and our ashes are left to be scattered mournfully in fields of silence. So why are we surprised when we find out one of our friends is an astrology junkie, telling us our lives have true meaning in the stars? “People need something to believe in,” one interviewee explained, “and if it’s not going to be Jesus [religion], then it’s going to be astrology.” 

Astrology examines the exact positions of the planets and constellations at the exact moment of a person’s birth and argues that these correspond systematically to their temperament, personality characteristics, interpersonal relationships, occupation, and auspicious periods of life.  

Nearly every culture on earth has a practice of studying the stars; many modern movements or campaigns in war were guided with them — even the French government has an astrologer to consult today. Nonetheless, as a result of glossy magazines screaming pseudoscience and thinly veiled personality tests with loose associations to psychological conditions, astrology can seem fatalistic and narcissistic on the surface. Additionally, the scientific world has dismissed astrology as possessing no explanatory ability for understanding the universe. It is considered pseudoscience as it has not been proven reliable in controlled studies and has little scientific validity. Not to forget those that struggle with accepting astrology due to their faith, because the belief in the other-worldly goes against bible ruling. In fact, the Bible specifies astrologers as among those who will be “burned as stubble” in God’s judgment.  

Under the surface, however, and when analyzed with methodology, diligence and faith; it calls into question our role in the universe, the nature of free will, and our understanding of humanity. It leads many people to consider whether physics and the alignment of the planets, may veritably have an impact on their existence. After all, if the moon can influence the ocean’s tides, what other forces are we having to contend with? Astrology connects us with the universe. Our bodies and the stars are all made of the same matter, so is it so impossible that maybe these ever-fixed markers guide us through life and transitions as we struggle to guide ourselves? 

The American Federation of Astrologers recently reported that 70 million Americans, or about 23% of the population, read their horoscope every day compared to 12% readership recorded in a 1999 National Science Foundation survey. Although the result could be interpreted as the aftereffect of the evolving media landscape, it still indicates a considerable rise in horoscope viewership over the last two decades. Out of the seven interviewed volunteers, we found that two read it occasionally for the purpose of entertainment, four people read it at least once a week and one reads it every day. The only subject, when asked to comment on her daily routine, the subject responded that “reading my horoscope every morning gave me something exciting to wake up to. In a way, astrology might be the most stable thing in my life,” she joked “it’s there for my every morning with relatively good advice, no matter the given situation.”  

I, myself am a skeptical creature, with trust issues to worry about. If you were to ask me a few months ago, whether I believe in astrology, I would have replied that it’s a nice idea, but “I’m too afraid to get my hopes up.” Despite these expectations, astrology ignited a spark of curiosity within me, and I finally took the bait once one of my closest friends began investing herself in the study of horoscopes, moon positions and even the magical properties of crystals. It was funny, it was even slightly ridiculous, and yet soon after I was saging rooms, watching libra tarot cards readings on YouTube and participating in lunar rituals. 

Can you blame me? I’m not even a hundred percent sure I believe in it, yet I cannot lie that the concept and practice of astrology entertains me. It doesn’t stop at horoscope readings — astrology involves many practices including tarot cards, palm readings, crystals, moon rituals and the belief in chakras, auras and energies. The world of astrology is beautiful, creative and, as one very charming participant described, a “comfort zone.” “There’s no pressure in astrology,” another believer explained, “it’s just reading the sky. There are no rules, no strict guidelines. Definitely, no wars were fought over it.”  

Astrology is not scary, it doesn’t bite. Hence, I challenge you dear reader to spin your wheel of fortune aka. Going on the internet. Simply, google your birthday and then type in ‘horoscope personality’ and see what comes up. Mine reads: As a Libra born on September 29th, you are creative and resourceful. While at first you may have your moments of shyness, as you grow older and gain more confidence, you will arrive to a position of power. Pretty cool, don’t you think? I would even say; spot on 😊! But people are biased and it’s hard to acknowledge your true nature, hence now I challenge you to google the horoscope of your friends, family and co-workers. Does it ring more true? 

If you remain unconvinced, welcome to the majority. The concept that a zodiac reading, usually presented as short as a medium-sized paragraph, could apply to 1/12th of the population is hard to imagine to be true. By stating that large groups of people share personality traits, emotional plot twists and even luck, it consequently questions individualism, and diminishes our agenda in being unique individuals. However, these words are being written by an astrological enthusiast, who reads her horoscope once a week. What I have taken from this transition is my belief in the universe, in its balance and its intersectionality of events. I believe, that your horoscope finds you. Whether it is a magazine, an online app, a YouTube tarot reading or even a TikTok, you were always meant to stumble upon it and read it, and the more you focus on one source of information, the more it will align to you and you energy/soul. Nevertheless, I encourage readers to power their critical thinking whilst reading horoscopes. Because what is important is that we remember that sun does not revolve around us, but that the Earth and us revolve around the Sun. 



Dark and handsome, his profile read: 188cm, 420 friendly and loves to cuddle. I was instantly hooked, so I swiped right. Now he’s sitting in a mid-lit Mexican restaurant, sipping on passion fruit margaritas. His hypnotic eyes are staring at me with anxious curiosity across the table, past my open laptop screen. Aman Malik is about to begin his interview and enlighten us with his personal tinder experience, his advice and his insight into online dating.

Q: In what way do you use Tinder?

A: Generally, my goal in using Tinder is to make new connections, it doesn’t specifically have to be romantic. In fact, Tinder is a great way to meet new friends. Tinder dates are usually a fun way to spend time with people, there really shouldn’t be any pressures or expectations from both parties. It’s also surprising to hear for Tinder newbies, that using Tinder doesn’t mean dating non-stop. Most people rely on Tinder occasionally and casually, going on dates maybe once a month or once a weekend. In the end, Tinder is just a social tool not a way of life.

Q: Have you had any negative experiences with Tinder?

A: Nothing too tragic. I got stood up once on a date after she asked me to buy us wine. Sometimes I get ghosted. Of course, a common issue with tinder is that it can decrease a person’s self-confidence if, for example, you would get ghosted or a particular person didn’t swipe back. However, I find that keeping an emotional distance with the app helps me keep sane. It’s important not to take everything too seriously. 

On another topic, I would advise Tinder newbies to be careful with some unverified, unidentifiable profiles. It’s better to be safe and cautious as you never know who’s on the other side of the screen.

Q: In what way do you think Tinder changed/shaped society?

A: I think, primarily, Tinder really changed the dating norm, or more so, the courting rituals. Tinder has made it extremely easy to ask someone out, which to most, is the preferable way over anxiously anticipating the rejection of your current crush. That’s what it really does, it eliminates crushes and effectively ignores romance. 

On top of that, I think Tinder’s swipe function might have had some effect on society. You swipe on what you see and maybe a short profile description. But Tinder users are mostly focusing on the photos, which in my opinion could influence individuals to become shallow and more likely to judge people on their appearance. 

Q: How do you think Tinder will change in the future?

A: I think Tinder will make it even easier to find love. Maybe it will categorize people looking for serious and casual relationships. Maybe it’ll start providing vouchers for restaurants, cafes or events to serve as date inspirations. Maybe it’ll bring romance back. 

I can also imagine it becoming more socially accepted. I have met people that lie about meeting their partners on Tinder, as if it’s tacky or shameful. Instead I think Tinder profiles could become something funny to mention in a wedding speech or to show your future children.

Q: Did you enjoy this interview?

A: Yes (wink, wink).

To those still being precautious about online dating, think of it as a way to have more control over your love life. At least I urge you to try, if Aman taught us anything it’s that people you meet on tinder can be pretty cool. However, if you still feel iffy about it, I’ll give you a tip, tell them you need an interview for your Journalism class. (wink, wink)