2011 - 2012
In recent years Greece has experienced an unprecedented influx of migrants, and at a time when the Greek people can ill afford to be hospitable. The city of Athens has witnessed entire neighbourhoods transform into so called "migrant ghettos". The migrants are blamed for everything from a sharp rise in crime to the presence of infectious disease. Consequently, far right politics has experienced a resurgence in recent years, a fact that has worried successive governments holding office in Greece. In response, the authorities have conducted severe crackdowns on undocumented migrants in an attempt to steer support away from extreme right wing parties.
The first aim of this project is to ask the question: who are the migrants? Athens locals describe
them as vermin, scum, aliens, thieves, pimps, leeches, bastards and much more. In reality they are
people fleeing famine, war, civil strife and social disorder. In Greece they now have to contend with
open racism and xenophobia, violent assault, poverty, homelessness, threat of arrest and police
The second aim of this project is to put a human face on the crisis and to combat the perception that the
migrants are akin to hostile aliens bent on social disorder and crime. It is also an endeavor to try and develop a more positive and constructive dialogue around immigration issues in Europe in the 21st century.
Thirdly, I wish to return to Greece to document the development of far right politics, and to look closely at experiences of the Greek people within the context of the immigration issue and the severe economic crisis.