Despite a recent media pick-up concerning conditions on Lesvos, specifically in Moria Camp, the situation experienced by the thousands living in Vial Refugee Camp remains forgotten. I’ve been speaking out over the past months about the failures of First Reception, Vial’s managing authority and a Greek governmental agency, that continues to demonstrate its life-threatening incompetency to provide a protected space for asylum-seekers arriving on European soil. These Visions for
Ms Danou, Director of Vial Reception and Identification Centre on the island of Chios, Greece, is not the first public official to resort to absurd rhetoric. She is far outmatched by the likes of Donald Trump (‘I don’t get along with rich people. I get along with the middle class and the poor people much better…’), Boris Johnson (accusing Papua New Guinea of ‘cannibalism and chief-killing’) and even Björn Höcke (‘Let us not forget, the Syrian who comes to us has still his Syr
Last Sunday’s piece concerning the treatment of the refugee community on Chios met with… less than positive responses from certain individuals and groups. Nevertheless, the freedom of individual expression is an underpinning value of our societies and I am sure that criticism is met with at least momentary self-reflection, before violence, anger or the rhetoric of disappointment is levelled against a writer who has no other desire than to talk openly about the ongoing situati
It’s 10k to the camp from school, we go there twice a day, and every time we wear firm smiles and from there bus away about 40-something kids and youth for more or less 4 hours, and through some language, sport and fun these participants to empower. But every time we take that bus - as it turns outside the gate - and picks up some and drops off others there are moments when we wait… These moments fresh and vivid seem, they spill across the year, and depending on the day, the
To talk on the peripheries of Chios and to frame the picture therein is my aim. So there I was, not 23 hours ago, frozen fast by the acoustic of rat teeth gnawing on the hard crust of an oxidised and hardened crumb under the oven. One mop stood across the kitchen, another I wielded in my hands. I rapped on the metal oven, in the hope of displacing the roguish rodent, but, whether out of fear or comfort, it stood steadfast. With a fling of my wrist I swung out the mop as I sou
The students I’m working with on a journalism project have chosen to make a newspaper called Vial Life, a one-off publication exposing the awful living conditions endured by those inside Chios’ hidden refugee camp. Police guard the camp’s perimeter, patrolling the barbed wire fences that keep asylum-seekers in and the prying eyes of journalists out. As one of the student journalists noted, ‘Why do they keep out journalists, unless they have something to hide?’ And he’s right.