A hierarchy of refugees?

Although the Syrian refugee crisis has drawn some renewed attention to the forgotten plight of Afghan refugees (many of whom have been displaced for far longer), Afghans are filtered through a different asylum process. Before the Syria crisis unfolded, Afghanistan had been the world’s biggest source for refugees for 32 years. However, now that parts… Continue reading A hierarchy of refugees?

The dilemma of taking sides: fight or flee

Our conversations with refugees have identified a key reason explaining why Syrian civilians have been fleeing the country en masse. Of course, issues of safety, joblessness, quickly rising cost of living, prospects for a better life, these themes all stand out. Yet for many it was the plight of the men. Over the past year,… Continue reading The dilemma of taking sides: fight or flee

Reflections on Elliniko

It felt somehow symbolic that at the refugee camp in Athens’ abandoned Elliniko airport, many refugee families have pitched their tents around the old ‘Arrivals’ hall, while the ‘Departures’ area of the airport remains blocked off by wire fencing. Refugees have been staying in the Elliniko airport since they arrived in Athens. Many have had to… Continue reading Reflections on Elliniko

Cherry-picking migrants: The race for global talent vs. managing mass migration

On the 8th of June I gave a talk in Paris at the ESCP at a conference entitled The Global Race for Talent. I was responding to a presentation given by Amanda Frost, Professor of Law and Director of the SJD Program American University Washington College of Law who discussed the ways in which countries (and in particular the… Continue reading Cherry-picking migrants: The race for global talent vs. managing mass migration

Integration in the neighborhood fruit market

The HIGGS office is in one of Athens’ most multicultural neighborhoods, and the coexistence of so many nationalities and cultures seems fairly seamless and peaceful from what we’ve observed. As non-Greek myself, I’ve found this diverse neighborhood to be both welcoming and interesting. We have already found a favorite among the many kebab restaurants on… Continue reading Integration in the neighborhood fruit market

A talk with Vassilis Perros on suitcases and their meaning

For the past six years, Vassilis Perros’ art has been revolving around movement and travel, symbolized by the ‘suitcase’. Looking at his art, I immediately associated it with migration and displacement. So we got to talking about it as I wondered what drove him to engage with this symbol over and over again. Some of… Continue reading A talk with Vassilis Perros on suitcases and their meaning

More than grassroots solidarity: The need for action from the top

Citizens’ solidarity with refugees has been timely, dynamic, creative, and purposeful. Artists are making documentaries and selling bags made from recycled life vests. People are knitting sweaters, teaching English, setting up wifi hotspots in the camps, and pulling people to safety on the shores of the islands. They are donating baby formula, organizing volunteer logistics,… Continue reading More than grassroots solidarity: The need for action from the top

What would you take with you? Uprooting/Borders

If you had to leave your home and flee for your life, what would you take with you? Maria Belivani invites onlookers to consider this question for themselves and write their answers on an interactive art installation in Athens’s Technohoros gallery. Through asking this simple question, Belivani inspires a moment of solidarity and empathy, in… Continue reading What would you take with you? Uprooting/Borders