The old name of Idomeni was Sehovo. It is located on the border with Macedonia and it is the last village of the “Greek railway tracks.
In 1936 the old name was changed to the Greek Idomeni like thousands of villages’ names in Greece in order to hide the last inkling that the powerful are the ones who draw the borders in their own interests.
The border separated families, friends, siblings, parents and children. Not Greeks from Macedonians but people who were born and raised within the same borders. The refugees from Syria, mostly Syrians but also Afghans who had already immigrated to the Middle East, sent away by their own war, and other nationalities as well, were gathered in Idomeni since 2014. More than 16.000 people were gathered in a distance of 20km between the border and the wired fence and the “door” that separated the “lucky” from the “unlucky ” ones. In the border that split the queues in half people bonded with one another becoming United so that they would never separate.
The comparisons with the past were many and bloodcurdling. The imperialism and the conflicts that took place in Syria in the last 5 years were enough to evoke images and memories from the past. The wired entrance on the railway tracks where the silhouettes of the people were illuminated wrapped in blankets wearing shoes three sizes bigger, was just enough.
For 6 months until the violent evacuation by the Greek government, the refugees camp of Idomeni reminded us that borders were created to hurt and separate people. Idomeni became the biggest refugee camp in Europe, one of the biggest hellholes and one of the greatest wounds in world’s history.
About Dimitris Rapakousis
Dimitris Rapakousis was born in 1981 and he lives in Athens, Greece. He graduated from the “Focus” school of art photography, video & new technologies in 2010. He is a freelance documentary photographer he cooperates with the international agencies AP (Associated Press) , AFP (Agence France-Presse) and with the Greek magazines “Epsilon” and “Unfollow”. [Official Website]