The second transnational meeting of MIGRIMAGE was held in Mytilene, Lesvos (Greece), on 28 and 29 June 2021. This meeting allowed MIGRIMAGE partners to meet each other for the first time, outside the virtual world to which the pandemic has used us.

The Greek partners of MIGRIMAGE, both the University of the Aegean and LESOL, organised a very full agenda in which, in addition to discussing and coordinating the current tasks of the project, we were able to get to know both the border context of the island of Lesvos and the work of these two institutions on the ground.

The first day was devoted to a field visit in which we travelled around the island mapping its borders. Early in the morning, we were able to visit the migrant camp ‘Kara-Tepe’, which is now closed. This camp was run by the municipality and offered migrants decent conditions related to first reception. We also visited Moria, together with a local activist, who gave us an insight into the history and ways of living in this massive camp, now destroyed by fire.

Finally we were able to access to the camp that now functions as a reception space for migrants, Kara-Tepe 2, where hundreds of people from the previous camps, as well as new arrivals, are displaced and sheltered. Just a few meters away from the former Kara Tepe, plastic tents and several streets of containers close to the sea has been created as housing, building an orography of the uninhabitable and inhumane.

We continue our bus trip to the northwest of the island, to the coast closest to Turkey, Sykamia. Here in 2015, during the so-called “refugee crisis”, thousands of people were arriving every day in precarious boats. The population of the island of Lesvos, as well as international volunteers, organized, as best they could, rescue and basic care for these arrivals. The Turkish coast could be seen on the horizon, the situations we were told about remain in the memory of the inhabitants of this small fishing village.

The next day we visited MOSAIK ( ), a centre run by LESOL, which functions as a training and self-employment centre for migrants and locals. In addition, we were able to learn more about the return of migrants to Turkey and other legal aspects related to migration management, through a talk with several staff members of this NGO, including Nicolien Kegles and the lawyer Marion Bouchelet, as well as our colleague in charge of the project Elisaveth Stravianoudaki. After this we met at the Dept. of Geography of the University of the Aegean, holding the second transnational meeting of the project in a blended format (with the Italian partners, UniSalento and Arci, online) and discussing internal issues of MIGRIMAGE’s development. Finally, we visited PIKPA, a camp for migrants, especially children and women, and people with disabilities, self-managed by LESOL and also now closed. PIKPA was created as a community of solidarity, brotherhood and freedom.

This meeting provided us with an in-depth knowledge of the migration context in Lesvos, which will undoubtedly have a very favorable impact on the training contents developed by MIGRIMAGE, as well as on the team work. We thank all the organizers for the care and dedication they put into this meeting so relevant for MIGRIMAGE and for our own trajectory as researchers and activists of a migratory culture such as the European Mediterranean one.