Door opened / Border closed – The desperate wait
Chronicle of a day to day in a refugee camp in Greece: Open Cultural Center has put together a photographic exhibitions which portrays day to day life in a refugee camp in Greece.
“The camp is surrounded by a fence about 2 metres tall, with 4 doors that allow access to it. These doors are always open, we can come and go as we please, even though we don’t have anywhere else to be. The military do not control whether we come or go as we are legally allowed to move anywhere around Greece. But this freedom does not make you a citizen like any other; we don’t have any legal documents nor work permits and everything comes at a cost…Day after day the fence reminds us of our situation. We can leave the camp but have nowhere to go nor a means by which to do so; we queue up to shower; we wait for phone calls from relatives; wait from news of the war; wait for the date to arrive to seek asylum; wait for refuge. We hope for things to change.”
This photographic exposition starts with these words from one of the refugees located in Cherso. Set up around a fence that imitates the camp and structured in five section: Open Door / Closed Border, where the duality of the concept is reflected, Camp Interiors where we can get a glimpse of the daily lives of the refugees, where there is space for sadness and despair but also for love and care; Camp Exteriors where we can see what lies beyond the fence; Fighters, a series of portraits of those who live in the camp and, lastly; Demonstration where all of their demands are gathered.
This exhibition is a result of the need on part of the volunteer group that met in the refugee camp in Cherso, in the north of Greece, to give a voice and presence to the refugees they met there- who they worked, collaborated and shared a lot with.