Iason Athanasiadis: from Karatepe in Mytilene

21 Sep
For full size see Athansiadis’ Facebook page:

Trying to fly but the walls are too high: The new camp the Greek government assembled in seven days on Lesvos, following the burning of Moria, has no services (or running water, electricity, showers or WiFi) is lashed by gale-strong winds, waves and dust as early as September, and is likely to be a closed detention center, so in almost every way it will be worse than the camp that some of the migrants are believed to have burned down in order to escape. I even came across some Afghans over the past few days who had got used to Moria and didn’t find it quite as Dickensianly horrid as the media describe it. One 26-year-old lady whom I met today picking her way through the cinders in search of her kids’ toys, told me she has happy memories of giving birth to her third child there.

Oh, a few hours after a press tour today organized by the Ministry of Migration, I was called up by the press person and scolded for having spoken to residents. “The rules I laid out were extremely clear,” he told me, “No talking to migrants.”

“Why, I didn’t realise we’d visited Auschwitz today,” my friend sitting across the table said, when I put down the phone and retold the conversation.

Also see the other fascinating Facebook page that Athanasiadis manages, if I’m correct: The Cities We Lost, a page that documents every aspect of the lost cosmopolitan urban centers of the Mediterranean.

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