Lesvos, holiday paradise / refugee crisis
More than 500,000 migrants and refugees have crossed the sea between Turkey and the Greek islands since the beginning of 2015. Most of them Syrians and Afghans, but many hail from other countries riddled by conflict and poverty, such as Pakistan, Somalia and Eritrea. Many of them cross the narrow sea straits from Turkey to the island of Lesvos in unseaworthy vessels, risking their lives to get to Europe. In the main city of Mytilene, they await registration and a permit allowing them to travel onwards by ferry. To the Greek mainland first. Then, in most cases, onwards through Europe, facing a future that is at best uncertain. This immense human tide has changed Lesvos. The holiday island with around 100,000 permanent residents has become a place where life and death come very close to one another, with euphoria and despair often going hand in hand.