Tired and exhausted. So many Stories are untold, so many photos and videos not shared. But such a trip leaves traces. I have seen lots and many things and now I need to rest and recover before I continue the project
Three refugee children drowned in a deadly boat sinking on January 15, 2016 in the Aegean Sea. They are buried just outside a Greek Orthodox cemetery in the tiny village of Iraion, near Pythagorio. This is their story.
Find more about this cemetery in the blogpost Even in death kept apart by a wall
A burial ground for drowned refugees just beyond the walls of a greek-orthodox cemetery in a tiny village near Pythagorio.
There are dozens of small, meagerly mounds, which were built up with soil and stones. Some, nameless, have graves marked by stone slabs with numbers. Plastic flowers try to help restore dignity. Others are marked with simple headstones bearing Quranic verses. There are teddy bears on some graves. Dozens of refugee children, most of them Syrian, are buried there, too.
The wind is blowing through the trees and the sound of the waves is always present. Somebody from inside the Cemetery is asking me: “What are you photographing here?”
I start to cry.
The camp, as the detention center is called here in Samos, was built with funds from the EU in 2007 for 250 people. Now there are about 800 refugees. Men, women and a lot of children. All huts are overcrowded. The sloping ground is packed with small tents. Up to 6 people are sharing one of these. There is no free space left.
A man told me, that one night, when he tried to find some sleep, holding his baby in his arms, the baby rolled down the hill.
The camp is a closed structure, a prison. No one is allowed officially to take a walk outside. Everywhere around is barbed wire. The food is often not enough for all. And there is just basic medical care. Nothing to play for children, nothing to do for adults. No one knows, what will happen next and if or when they will be allowed to continue there journey. All stuck in limbo.
This is not intended to be a friendly place here: a refuge, a haven, a place to rest and recover.
This is intended to make the people aware that they are not welcome in Europe.
This is the view from Samos to Turkey. The turkish coastline is just 2.5 km away. IOM reports, that 1232 refugees have died this year while trying to cross the Mediteranean.