Archives For mytilene

via society and space. Part of the forum “Governing mobility through European Hotspot Centres.”

 

On a quiet spring morning on the promenade of the port of Mytilene, on the Greek island of Lesbos, a strange sight caught our attention: flying high on a mast just inside the port gates were two peculiarly selected flags, the French and the Finnish. Perhaps something of a random choice, maybe even a computer error picking up the two EU member-states starting with an “F”, we joked at that time. But a few hours later, during our meeting with the European Commission’s representative on the island as part of our research on the migration crisis, the record was put painstakingly straight: far from a mistake, this was a strategic choice ahead of the visits of the French and the Finnish ambassadors to Greece to the island that week.

The Office of the Commission stationed in Mytilene was tasked with presenting these two state representatives with a pristine image of the hotspot on the island: the image of some seemingly unhindered and seamless operation of the hotspot, along with all of its ancillary mechanisms. Like salespeople charged with selling a future car model, or real estate agents promoting an apartment through a brochure while construction is still taking place, the Mytilene-stationed officials have been commissioned with convincing EU member-state representatives of the efficiency of the hotspot while the mechanism itself is still under construction. Continue Reading…

Our research project, Transcapes, has now launched. In the following months, our collective (Anna Papoutsi, Yannis Christodoulou, Joe Painter, Evie Papada, myself – and possibly more!) will be exploring how the transient populations arriving in Europe are now transforming the continent’s political landscape beyond recognition…

For some initial thoughts check our Verso commentary on the aftermath of Paris; a brief interview with BBC Wiltshire and a much longer one with Dissident Island; an article outlining the reasoning behind the research and what it could mean to study refugees in our time. And keep an eye out for updates from the field in the coming days and weeks.

by my solid friend Ross Domoney.