Welcome to Lesbos
The Greek island of Lesbos needs summer tourists for its COVID-19 recovery, but it's also home to Europe's biggest refugee camp
Welcome To Lesbos: After a fire razed Europe's largest refugee camp, the Greek island of Lesbos is once again in turmoil. This report uncovers the complicated relationship between locals and asylum seekers at the heart of the refugee crisis.
Since 2015, the island of Lesbos has housed more than 200,000 people fleeing war and persecution in Syria and Afghanistan, mostly in Moria, the now-destroyed camp. Some locals see it as their duty to help the refugees: 'When the people arrived out of the sea, and they were just sitting there in the freezing cold, I didn't feel I had a choice. I just had to help', says Melinda McRostie, who runs an NGO helping refugees. However, the stigma of being seen as a haven for refugees has damaged the island's tourism industry. The local governor wants a full stop to illegal crossings to Greece: 'The number one problem for residents is how will we survive this violent imposition of other ways of life, of other religions(?)' Housed in the 'jungle', the refugees lived in squalid conditions. Documenting their lives, some gave a glimpse of what it was like to live in Moria: 'The locals, they see the refugees as a problem. And they behave in a way that makes you feel like an insidious creature', claims citizen journalist, and refugee, Yaser.FULL SYNOPSIS