““I don’t know if it is better or worse. It’s the same. It’s another camp”, says Fatima, a 15-year-old girl from Afghanistan. Her parents used to live in a camp close to the Iranian border when they were her age. Now, she and her relatives have shared a tent for more than a year, and the few possessions she owned burned in the fire. They had a long journey before reaching Lesvos: traveling from Afghanistan to Iran, Turkey and Greece. The story of Fatima and her family is no exception. Many people on Lesvos were being displaced, oppressed and politically persecuted before coming to Greece. Camps are the only dominating constant in their lives.
Ultimately, Moria was and is a politically organised human rights crime that continues to exist. Even after the destruction of the physical camp, it has been recreated in a new site. This broken model for harbouring asylum-seekers is doomed to fail, because we’ve seen it fail before. A life of dignity and self-determination is a human right that cannot be realised in camps. Therefore, a new camp on Lesvos, on the Greek mainland or elsewhere cannot be a viable solution.
Refugees on Lesvos need political will and solidarity, which can only be achieved through political action. There are countless Moria-equivalents all over Europe, all over the world, and they concern us all.
© Photos: Arian Henning / Mare Liberum