Even in death kept apart by a wall – The Cemetery


Ireon, Samos
A burial site for drowned refugees, just behind the walls of a Greek Orthodox cemetery in a small village near Pythagorio.

There are dozens of small, bare mounds that have been filled with earth and stones. Some of the nameless graves are marked with stone slabs bearing numbers. Plastic flowers try to give the place some dignity. Other mounds are marked with simple tombstones on which Koranic verses are written. Teddy bears lie on some graves. Dozens of refugee children, most from Syria, are buried here.

The wind is blowing through the trees, and the sound of the waves is a constant presence in the background. Someone from inside the cemetery walls asks me: "What are you photographing here?"

I start crying.