Adonis Diaries

Refugee camp in Lesbos: Welcoming “Clown me in” Clowns ohne Grenzen e.V

Posted on: October 29, 2020

Sabine Choucair posted on Fb

Lesbos. Day 2.
1. good news of the day: Camp ′′ Piqba ′′ will not be closed… at least not in the next 2 days… short breath…

A young Dutch woman gives us the good news and takes us to breakfast right away…

She is here as a freelance photographer, but also helps everywhere there is something to do… like so many here…She explains to us what will happen….

At 11:40 we’ll take her, our photographer, and our helping hand Thanasis, without whom we would totally be out of the box, which he took for 3 years and first look at the situation from within…

We meet one of the leaders Joachim from Chile!
There are several Greek NGOs working together there among other things… in horizontal not in a vertical hierarchy, which is very important to them all!

He tells us about her incredible work. Basically 90 % of the residents come from Afghanistan… there is a kindergarten in the middle of a small pine forest… (it could almost seem idyllic if you managed to hide where we are right now…) in which before Corona also Greek children learned, laughed and played together with the refugee children…. now they can’t come!

During the tour we also become aware of a painting on the floor, a welcome greeting for the clearing police officers as well… translates as much as ′′we don’t give up…”.

In general, everything is very colorful, there are drawings and crafts of children everywhere… Yes, this is a place where people get love, affection and recognition… finally!

At least being allowed to feel a little ′′at home… in a strange place”… even if everything is cobbled together and improvised… it doesn’t matter!

You notice it immediately… there’s so much blood everywhere here… so much commitment from so many so wonderful people!

The eviction was officially announced at the end of September.

Since then there has been a constant fear of the day it really will happen and the threat that overshadowed everything will come true… and all the work, all the fighting and commitment is destroyed…

That’s why the mood is very excited…
Clutch and hope alternate…

Suddenly we stand in the tiny laundry room… which was quickly converted into a discotheque for a short moment from a DJ to surprise and great joy of all!

There are no limits to ingenuity and improvisation talent!
There’s a painted picture of clowns on the wall surrounded by kids…

The Swedish colleagues and Sabine Choucair were there!
Then the plan finally stands… We’re moving in the clothing donation room (oh the German language! ) um… and get going…

There’s a wild and loud parade to collect everyone and go to the chosen venue…

We’re about to include a few Farsi (Iranian language) words from our last Iran trip, which leads to great amusement and forms the 1. the bridge… well maybe it’s our costumes too…

45 min laughs, amazed, wide open eyes, enthusiasm, happiness and carefree accompany us through our show…

At least for a moment, fear and concern are not the dominant power, but the lust for life has won, the joy of playing has sprung over!
For these wonderful children, it only takes the slightest tiny scales anyway!

A volunteer says thank you again and says how important our visit was

In the last few days many children have cried hard because of fear of being displaced again…
Pits wet and powered out but we’re moving very happy…
What a huge gift to create and experience this magical atmosphere together!

As we say goodbye there is a gathering of helpers to discuss the action in the next few days… because the danger is not banned…

Extinguishing planes are moving over our heads…And it continues…

Thanasis wants to take us to the burnt Camp Moria.
On the way there we drive past the new camp, which has endless snakes formed in front of it.

Only one person per family is allowed out (from 08:00-20:00) and everything is controlled!

There is still no running water and facilities… The 2 rows of Dixiklos seem like a bad joke!

When we arrive it almost knocks us out…
Yawning emptiness, an uncanny silence and the smell of burnt greets us and takes my breath away!

A sea of crushed containers and melted plastic bottles, tent skeletons and black coked olive trees as far as the eye can see!

Beggars walk through the ruins looking for useful things…
And in the middle of it, 2 clowns grabbing their hands…

Despite the dumplings in our throat and goosebumps, we try to do the best!
We have come to take pictures for the #leavenoone behind campaign, show contrasts… maybe to give hope too!

And the wall with barbed wire fence graffiti saying: ′′The Graveyard of Humanity ′′

On the way back we get stopped by the police: we were already surprised that we could just walk around there…
What we would have done there…. Thanasis explains in Greek… we understand nothing…
The situation is getting a bit fierce and we are asked to show our passports… Of course they’re in the hotel!

After some back and forth we can look for the copies in the notebook… That’s sweet! They don’t think so though. A quirky and also somewhat fun situation arises as we work through the 1000 ending pictures…

There’s Susie but where’s the Max? Yes, where is he the little Max?
At some point it gets too dumb for the cops and they let us go. Lucky we are clowns and still in costume!

We managed to bore her to death and apparently no ′′special′′ danger comes from us!

Off to the hotel, next day organization, washing costumes, making props, shower, walk, eat, sleep…
A very impressive and moving day comes to an end… The feeling that the trip was already worth it makes us sink into a deep sleep!
So excited to see what else is waiting for us!


+7Clowns ohne Grenzen e.V.

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October 2020

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