Antonis Pasvantis is a freelance photographer based in Kavala, North Greece. He has worked as a staff photographer in Greek photo news agencies. After finishing his photographic studies in Athens, ten years ago, he is recording the migration issue. In the past he was following the commercial life of a group of west Africans before and after the 2004 Olympic games, where a part of this project participated in young Greek photographers 2006 exhibition for Hellenic Center of Photography. Other issues that focusing is the greek areas close to the borders and whats the impact of boundaries in everyday life of the locals, ecology, culture and religious issues.
The Clamour of Idomeni
Following the summit in Visegrad and the sealing of the Balkan route, the European dream for thousands of refugees stuck in the mud of Idomeni. The community of Idomeni, a small and almost unknown village until those days, emerges again and captivates the public interest. Fifty years ago, in the same village, Greek immigrants boarded on the famous “Acropolis” express, were departing to Munich passing through the final train station in their country. It is now, on the same blocked railway that 14.000 refugees have halted their tents and expectations on the way for a better life in Europe.
According to the recorded number of refugees, Idomeni turns to be the biggest non organized refugee camp in Europe. The continuous heavy rain tests the patience of the already exhausted refugees who are living in terrible conditions within substandard infrastructure. They gain strength to overcome their difficulties only by the hope and the spread rumors that the borders will finally open. Those rumors and hopes though are denied every time and the people’s efforts to cross the borders through secondary roads do not have anticipated outcomes.
When the night falls, the time of contemplation for next day’s struggle takes place. This is a struggle with common starting point and finish line. The old stories soothe the pain and give some joy. The smell from the burning wood and plastic is suffocating. They submerged in their tents after their long lasting debates and conversations. This is the time when the mind settles from the clamour of Idomeni.
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