'Walking Borders: borders, risk and belonging' is funded by the Leverhulme Trust
I had an amazing research trip working & walking with photographer John Perivolaris in the port of Chios and port of `Mitilini (Lesvos), connecting with John’s biography, cultural history and familial experiences of the ‘population exchanges’ and the long, turbulent history of refuge and forced migration to/from Greece and Turkey.
The current humanitarian and refugee crisis, austerity politics and experiences of Greek citizens and ‘sea people,’ alongside what John described as a ‘cultural renaissance’ were experienced in an immediate, sensory and multi-modal way – not only in our walks and conversations in place around the theme of borders, risk and belonging, with John’s friends and family too, but also through the lens of Irish journalist Bruce Clark. Recommended reading by John, Clark’s Twice a Stranger and a collection of contemporary Greek poetry called Austerity Measures, edited by Karen Van Dyck, were our walking companions.
We met some fantastic, brave and resilient people, volunteers and migrants in both ports, had an interesting encounter with local bureaucracy and on arrival very late back to the UK, the theme of borders, risk and belonging was played out in the hotel we stayed in [temporary accommodation for refugees] and in the iconography of the local area.
The longest of my Leverhulme fellowship walks – our walks and dialogue, plus John’s photographic images will be posted to this site soon!
To see John’s inspiring photographic work visit: