There is a big river in northern Greece named Axios that crosses the borders between Greece and FYROM.By providing cover from the eyes of police officers, the small but thick forest on the river banks creates an ideal path for hundreds of immigrants who try every day to illegally pass the borders from Greece to FYROM.
People persecuted, coming from countries of the Middle East and Africa like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, arrive in Greece in search of a better life but as what they find here too is financial crisis and far right racist violence, they decide not to stay but to continue their way towards the most developed countries of northern Europe, countries like Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.
In the last two years, thousands of immigrants have crossed this river forest on their long way to the north.
As i was walking along the same paths, i didn’t come close to any of them.I only saw far from me some fleeting human figures, figures that would disappear at the slightest sign of my presence.The fear of being arrested and detained indefinitely in Greece was very big and made them move very carefully.
I found however many objects scattered on both sides of the river, objects that proved the previous presence of these people.Tents, shoes, clothes, cooking and personal hygiene tools, pills, torn documents, life jackets, even a pocket edition of the Koran among other things.Some were left in good condition and in visible places, destined probably for the next who would pass from there as an act of solidarity and mutual aid.
Under a bridge that crossed the river i also found some messages written in Arabic and English : “We proud to be Afghan”, “ Keep your hope to reach to aim”, “War is forever”, “Waiting, waiting, waiting”.
Seeing all these, clear traces of people in a tragic fate, i was thinking that in a way these left objects were forensic evidence of global crimes, crimes of religious, political and economic violence that has condemned hundreds of thousands of people in the nightmarish life of the illegal immigrant, a life where nothing is stable, a bare life where the right to have an identity is lost in the constant movement, in the permanent temporariness.
These items scattered next to the river were the only tangible proof of these ineffable people’s existence, evidence of a violent and unjust global reality.
At some point, i was walking in a path a bit outside of the forest when i noticed from afar a small pile of stones.As i was moving towards it it seemed to me that it had the shape of a human body but it was only when i came real close to it that i realized it was a human grave, an anonymous human grave.