After one-hour drive from the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, when leaving the "free West" towards Belarus, "Europe's last dictatorship", everyone must pass a strict border control. Crossing this border is a time-consuming process, almost absurd in its essence. However, there are people who endure this almost daily: the interstate border literally cuts through their backyard. What used to be a daily routine of visiting relatives or friends, going to church or to the cemetery, now became a bureaucratic hell of crosspoint schedules, visas, and permits. A vivid example of the forgotten 'European outskirts' and the paradox of the free Schengen Area, which divides communities, families and lives.
A journey to the forgotten European outskirts, to the border between Lithuania and Belarus, where the Schengen fence divides communities, families, lives