The Open University
3 files

Pikpa Then and Now: The Destruction of a Safe Passage Refugee Camp on Lesvos

posted on 2022-10-05, 12:50 authored by Hazel NixonHazel Nixon

These three double images by Knut Bry represent Pikpa refugee camp in Mytilene, Lesvos when it was thriving as a safe space, a zone of compassion, care and solidarity for the most vulnerable refugees (2012-20). As the situation on the island worsened due to failures in European policies and government incompetence, solidarity waned and hostility rose on the island. Politicians bowed to local protests and closed the camp in 2020 and it was shut down. The Eviction of Pikpa Open Refugee Camp – COV19 Chronicles.

Vulnerable refugees were evacuated suddenly and with military precision. Why one may ask? The communal hall, once a place of friendship and commensality is now dilapidated. The wooden cabins that some called their cottage home, now empty and in disuse. The communal gardens and allotments once thriving, now a waste land. What a waste!


This material is part of the Covid Chronicles from the Margins project, funded by The Open University and The Hague. The project aims to highlight the impact of the pandemic on refugees, asylum seekers & undocumented migrants.

This item can be found on our website, here: