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Tag: LUKE MOGELSON

THE DREAM BOAT

A boatload of refugees making the 200-mile journey to Christmas Island.

THE DREAM BOAT

By LUKE MOGELSONMore than a thousand refugees have died trying to reach Christmas Island. But faced with unbearable conditions at home, they keep coming.Photographs by
JOEL VAN HOUDT

BY LUKE MOGELSON
PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOEL VAN HOUDT

November 15, 2013

It?s about a two-and-a-half-hour drive, normally, from Indonesia?s capital city, Jakarta, to the southern coast of Java. In one of the many trucks that make the trip each month, loaded with asylum seekers from the Middle East and Central Asia, it takes a little longer. From the bed of the truck, the view is limited to a night sky punctuated by fleeting glimpses of high-rise buildings, overpasses, traffic signs and tollbooths. It is difficult to make out, among the human cargo, much more than the vague shapes of bodies, the floating tips of cigarettes. When you pass beneath a street lamp, though, or an illuminated billboard, the faces thrown into relief are all alive with expectation. Eventually, the urban pulse subsides; the commotion of the freeway fades. The drooping wires give way to darkly looming palms. You begin to notice birds, and you can smell the sea.