‘Welcome to the Prison Island (Lesbos): immobilisation, solidarity, resistance


‘Welcome to the Prison Island (Lesbos): immobilisation, solidarity, resistance

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DATE AND TIME: Mon 18 June 2018 | 18:30 – 20:00 BST

LOCATION: The Open University in London | 1-11 Hawley Crescent London | NW1 8NP | United Kingdom


In the aftermath of the so-called "refugee crisis" and the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement, refugees have indefinitely been trapped on Lesbos Island. Lesbos has been transformed into a "prison island" where racism, violence and xenophobia are gradually escalating. At the same time, acts of everyday solidarity and resistance take place on Lesbos, as an antidote to racism, fear and violence.


  • Prof. Marie Gillespie will speak about her research and experiences in PIKPA, a refugee camp on Lesbos Island coordinated by activists, volunteers and refugees.
  • Fotini Mitsou is an activist who works at Mosaik Support Centre, which supports refugees and locals on Lesbos. Fotini will speak about her experiences on solidarity through her work with refugees and locals and the challenges due to the escalation of xenophobia.
  • Dimos Sarantidis (PhD student): Dimos will do a critical legal analysis on the EU-Turkey Statement and the "geographical restriction rule" on the Aegean Islands -and particularly Lesbos.
  • Evgenia Iliadou (PhD student): Evgenia will discuss the processes of internalisation/externalisation of the EU borders as they are incarnated in the case of Lesbos. Evgenia will argue that certain policies have turned Lesbos into a prison island by inflicting harm to refugees.

This event is designed for academics, practitioners, policymakers and journalists