Reyes tried to calm the man down and give him some water, assuring him that everything would be fine. He tried to talk to her between tears. “He spoke French and was counting something on his fingers. I didn’t understand him but I’m sure he listed his friends he lost along the way.”
Photographer Bernat Armangué calls this a bizarre moment. “On the one hand you had an aid worker who comforts and Spanish soldiers who try to help people and a little further, the security forces catch other African migrants to send them back. It was a moment full of contradictions. . “
GraciasLuna and racist messages
The images struck a chord in Spain, it’s true the sudden influx African migrants is the main news. Reyes, who had returned to her mother’s hometown for an internship in March, was interviewed by the news and was featured in all newspapers. Ministers and celebrities tweeted under the hashtag Thank you moon.
At the same time, opponents of migration launched an attack on her, especially when they found out that her boyfriend is black. Reyes has shown racist and sexist information she received to the Spanish media. “He is portrayed as a token of humanity, but they are just looking for a residence permit” for example. Or: “What would you do if you stayed with four of them and they raped you?”
Reyes decided to focus on his work first. Unwittingly, in the crowd of asylum seekers who are still entering Ceuta, she is still looking for the man who has been deported again, whose name she has never even known. “He deserved more than a hug.”