#4th Eur. Meeting for ‘The route of solidarity: Citizens pathways toward an inclusive Europe (TROS)’_Lesvos, 23-29 May
ANTIGONE’s team had the pleasure to organize the 4th European meeting under the framework of the #Τhe Route of Solidarity (TROS) program. The meeting was attended by activists, volunteers and staff working in NGOs from Spain, Italy, Croatia, and Greece with the aim to inform and familiarize various aspects of the refugee issues in Lesvos and Greece. The participants had the chance to visit spaces and initiatives of interest; to be informed by local key-actors; to discuss with refugees, migrants and locals and; to actively participate in workshops and actions.
The overall planning and organisation of the meeting was held by ANTIGONE whereas Lesvos Solidarity and MOSAIK from Lesvos contributed importantly to its implementation. During the 5-days meeting the ANTIGONE team attempted to ‘map’ the route, the difficulties and the everyday life of refugees in Lesvos as well as the intertwined relations among the various refugee populations, the local, european and international volunteers, activists and professionals, the official institutions and stakeholders and the local people.
The agenda of the meeting was based on a ‘mapping’ approach and each day was an ‘exploration’ on different issue: the recent history and present; the refugee routes on the island; good practices of integration and symbiosis; the personal and collective trauma; the challenges of the future.
A short reporting of the 5-days:
1. Thursday, 24/05. ‘Mapping the here & now in Lesvos’.
The agenda included a welcome and an ice-breaking session, a presentation about the recent migrant and refugee flows as well as the current situation on the island with focus on some newly-born symbiotic practices. The agenda concluded with a presentation about the Greek legal framework -focusing on the aftermath of the E.U.–Turkey deal. All the activities of the day were held in Lesvos Solidarity (Open Refugee Camp).
2. Friday, 25/05. ‘Mapping integration and common living’ among populations living temporary or permanent on the island.
Our team was initially informed for the activities and workshops held by the MOSAIK Support Center for Refugees and Locals. Later we had the chance to participate in a workshop about social and solidarity economy; to attend presentations concerning the ‘Regularization of exception situation in EU border policies’ and ‘Activism & slogans on Lesvos walls’. An open discussion titled ‘Integration in everyday life: reality or myth?’ followed among the participants of the TROS project, international activists, locals, refugees and migrants and finally the day closed with the documentary ‘Janus Legacy: Refugee Passage to Europe’
3. Saturday, 26/05. ‘Mapping the refugee routes’.
Embarking on a reverse course, we started by going to the Moria hot-spot –where currently over 7,000 are being held there while the official capacity is estimated at 2,000 people. We went on visiting Sykamia and Molyvos, where local and international activists described the steps they took in order to organize the initially DIY reception and relief initiatives, during the 2015-2016 refugee influx. They also contributed in the ongoing discussion over what can be ‘integration’ and ‘symbiosis’ today. Visiting the life-savers landfill in Molyvos was one of the highly charged moments of the days, where our team proceeded to an activist protest.