I will never forget last night as long as I live. There is simply no leap the imagination can make to replicate these scenes. Scenes which happen over and over every night, and only the latest of which I have participated in. We arrived at 11pm last night and only finally left at 12 noon today simply because every human hand was needed. And those were by far not enough ☞
Just a small fraction of the life jackets at a dumping yard in the North of Lesvos. The dumping site just a fraction of the life jackets on Lesvos. The life jackets on Lesvos just a fraction of the life jackets on Greek Islands. That’s before mentioning those swallowed by the sea. I’ll never forget how many are the size of a child’s. Or that each jacket signifies a human life.
Today I saw Greek homeless men cooking food, on a mass scale, for refugees. Not discriminating who can get what dependent or defined by nationality, but simply, food for the hungry, cooked by the hungry. I’m not sure about whether miracles exist or not, but I felt that I witnessed something miraculous. Something with the shape and colour and innocence of miracles.
We arrived in Greece not as a destination but in the spirit of looking for a beginning. In reaching the end of the road in Southern Europe, we realised that the only beginning for us can mean the beginning that is meant for the refugees. And that means the Isle of Lesbos, the first European port, for those setting off from Syria.
We arrived in Greece after driving 48 straight, that’s just over 2000 kilometres eaten by the beautiful little yellow submarine that is carrying us. It wasn’t until we arrived in Greece that things started to go a little hay wire. By haywire I mean that every single road to Athens was blocked by police and there were, literally, 100’s of burning fires by the side of every road. We circled around the same highway in criss cross self repeating cycles as if in a David Lynch movie. All around us police sirens swirled and the pillars of fires blazed. We eventually gave in the ghost and headed in the only direction possible which was Thessaloniki.
Over the next month I am traveling with the photographer Bastian Fischer through Europe. We are trying to educate ourselves first hand on what is happening in the continent, and while doing so making a documentary. This is the first part of an ongoing diary on my website where I will share what I learn along the way.
Over the next weeks I will be traveling through Europe trying to learn as much as I can both about the refugees arriving on our shores, and how it is effecting the continent. I am currently stuck in the port of Athens attempting to get over to Lesbos. If you would like to read more about my motivations in going PLEASE CLICK HERE
I began today working on an extension to the Journeys project – Interpretations. It will be a collection of solo piano pieces by players that I love, inspired by different aspects & fragments of my travels. Today I began this new side path with the great pianist Ingvo Clauder.