EL PRINCIPE

In the south of the Spanish exclave city of Ceuta in northwest Africa locates a 12,000 residents' neighborhood of El Principe. The neighborhood is sometimes called as ”the most dangerous neighborhood in Europe”, and though illegal drug trade is not so common as back in the days, gangs are still fully controlling the area with their guns and visitors are not welcome. The unemployment rate in the neighborhood is around 80% which has made it a fruitful soil for ISIS recruiters. During the past few years many young people, men and women, have travelled to the conflict zones in Middle East to become fighters of the terrorism organization. Residents of the neighborhood feel frustrated because they are often stigmatized by local people as well as by media, and Ceuta's politicians are not doing enough to help and support the neighborhood to change to better.

(Spain/Morocco, 2016 || for Lännen Media)

Hassan feeding the upcoming lunch of his family at his home in the edge of El Principe neighborhood. Hassan and her wife are both unemployed, and to not be so dependent on the money they don't have, the couple are trying to grow their food by themselves. Besides the chicken they have a tiny garden.

View from Hassan's garden. The border crossing to Morocco can be seen next to the sea shore.

Polices Daniel, Amin and Angel preparing to leave for their daily walk around the neighborhood. El Principe has its own small police unit, but they are seen more like social workers and are present only in the daytime. Whenever there happens some incident in the neighborhood, the group really can't do anything but wait their colleagues from the city centre to arrive. The centre is only ten minutes drive away, but it can take even up to an hour for the special geared forces to arrive to the scene. Ambulances need also be accompanied by police and the great delays are likely to cause problems for the patients.

Leila having a nap on his father's bed. The family's home is very small and in order to have more space for their child they are planning to extend it. The extension (one small room) is estimated to cost around 1,000 euros and the family does not know from where they could get that big amount.

Street view from the centre of Ceuta. El Principe feels here like another world, though it locates just around the corner.

Hassan telling a story of how police broke the door when they made a raid into his home and arrested him.