New border crossings into Greece: A revival of the old routes in the Aegean?

Kos
Beautiful Kos

Recently the greek news are talking of a revival of the old routes into Greece through the Aegean islands. Since two years Evros has been the main entrance for sans-papiers into Greece with steadily increasing numbers of arrivals. Since the beginning of the governments massive pogrom against sans-papiers in Athens but also in Evros and the further periphery in the beginning of this August, numbers of arrivals have been shrinking in Evros and increasing again slightly on the islands of the Aegean (mainly: Mytilini, Samos, Patmos, Leros, Symi etc.). In August 397 sans-papiers were arrested on the Aegean islands compared to 168 in 2011. The greek government following this increase and the medial hype around the “revival of the island routes” asked Frontex for more support in controlling their sea borders. The request concerns 4 additional aircrafts, 4 coast guard ships and specialised extra staff.
Concerning the fate of the arriving sans-papiers, as it seems, the authorities on the islands have the order to keep new arriving sans-papiers as long as possible in detention on the islands and not transfer them to Athens. In some cases solidarity group denounced the lack of access to the asylum procedure for the detained. In a long-term perspective if arrivals will continue and grow this could result in the creation of new detention places on the islands (or the re-opening of old ones). It is yet unclear if the slightly increasing arrivals on the islands can be interpreted as another change of routes or if it is more of a short term phenomenon. Clearly, the medial referral to a “revival” of the old routes and de facto arrivals of the last days anyway also lead to an increased use of a fascist discourse by some people within the local societies (i.e. in Symi but also elsewhere).

In Samos the local solidarity group published a number of press releases concerning the very poor detention conditions of newly arrived Syrian and Afghan refugees (among them also children, women and UN-recognized refugees from other countries) and the lack of access to the asylum procedure for the about 50-60 refugees. Since a few days the Syrian refugees are on hunger strike protesting their inhuman situation.

In Mytilini the last month there have been also repeated arrivals (50 and more in the last period). Sans-papiers seem to be detained in the police stations of the island.

In Symi a boat carrying 38 sans-papiers was seemingly shot by the authorities and thereafter sank (on September 4th). The passengers were saved and are in detention now. In total there were about 100 (or more) arrivals in this period. The police station does not fit any more detainees so that the new arriving have to stay in the yard and next to it in outside spaces. The Doctors without borders are offering some medical first aid, while the police is responsible for the catering. At the same time during a recent municipal council on the island one of the speakers proposed to call members of the fascist party GD (golden dawn) to “solve the problem” and “so that the guys don’t allow the boats of the coast guard to disembark the sans-papiers on the island”. The mayor of the island at some point said: “if nothing happens (from the side of the government?) then we have to tak the weapens and protect our island!”.

In Leros a few days ago 60 sans-papiers arrived – originally having arrived on Farmakonisi. Amog them were also small children. They were all detained in the yard of the coast guard and the police station.

In Rhodos 20-30 people were reported to have arrived in the last days. At the same time their are rumours about the construction of a new detention centre on Kos island.

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Samos masterpiece displayed in London’s National Gallery

 

Samian Sibyl with a Putto by Guercino (1591 – 1666) – La Ferté by Richard Parkes Bonington (1802 – 1828)

Two important works of art have been surrendered to the nation in lieu of taxes. Samian Sibyl with a Putto by Guercino (1591 – 1666), has never before seen by the public and La Ferté by Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828) have both been allocated to the National Gallery by the Arts Council England under the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, which allows donors to leave major works of art to the nation in lieu of inheritance tax.  These two paintings make an important addition to the National Gallery’s permanent collection and are now available for visitors to enjoy in Rooms 42 and 32 respectively.

Guercino’s, Samian Sibyl with a Putto was an oracle of Apollo from the Greek island of Samos, who prophesied that Jesus would be born of a virgin in a stable at Bethlehem – the inscription held by the putto refers to the suffering of the Virgin Mary: ‘Hail Zion, chaste maiden who has much suffered.’

This painting is directly related to the National Gallery’s Cumaean Sibyl, which was painted in 1651 by Guercino for his patron Giuseppe Locatelli of Cesena.  As told by the artist’s early biographers, the Cumaean Sibyl painting was being finished when Prince Mattias de’ Medici, brother of Grand Duke Ferdinand II, sighted it and convinced Guercino to sell it to him.  The artist then had to create another painting for Locatelli and, rather than repeat the same composition, he painted The Samian Sibyl so that each of his noble patrons would have an entirely original composition.

It is rare to be able to display subsequent versions of compositions.   Their juxtaposition offers a profound and clear demonstration of the artist’s ability to vary a basic compositional formula to create a distinctive mood.  The points of distinction between the two Sibyl paintings – one being active and the other contemplative – make them function as a brilliant pair,  even if this was not intended by the artist.

Richard Parkes Bonington’s La Ferté  – This is the first work by the great master, Parkes Bonington to enter the National Gallery’s permanent collection. La Fertéestablishes the connection between the French and English painting traditions and beautifully enhances the National Gallery’s landscape collection.

Richard Parkes Bonington’s La Ferté , probably depicts the estuary of the river Somme, on the French coast of Picardy. A hamlet on the outskirts of the small port of Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme, La Ferté offered wide unspoilt views and was a favourite sketching spot for Bonington and his painting companions, Paul Huet and Thomas Shotter Boys.

This open-air study painted in 1825 is likely to have been made on the spot and conveys the changeable weather of the Northern coast.  Characterised by a fluid handling of paint, light , smooth horizontal sweeps of his brush evoke the sky, the brisk sea air and the sand washed tide whilst vertical strokes suggest distant rain showers further in the horizon. Foam and seaweed are picked out with a few thicker highlights, painted wet-in-wet and some details such as the large boat and the woman on the right may have been added later in Bonington’s studio.

Its inclusion in the National Gallery collection will enable visitors to appreciate the freshness and freedom of Parkes Bonington’s modern brushwork and the impressionist investigations into open-air painting.

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, called Guercino (‘squinter’) (1591 – 1666), was born in Cento, near Ferrara.  He became one of the leading painters of the Bolognese school and was one of the most accomplished draughtsman of the Italian Baroque.  His early work shows the influence of a variety of North Italian sources, most notably the work of Ludovico Carracci and Venetian artists of the preceding century.  He developed a highly individual style that shows a command of subtle effects of light and dark, strong colour, and robust brushwork. After serving the Bolognese Pope Gregory XV in Rome in 1621–3, his work began slowly to change as he came under the influence of a more classical style of painting.  His figures reveal an acute command of the affetti, gestures and facial expressions that reflect the study of body language in relation to the classical tradition.  In his later work, such as Samian Sibyl, he was deeply affected by the austere classicism of one of his greatest rivals, Guido Reni.

Richard Parkes Bonington (25 October 1802 – 23 September 1828) Born of English parents, Richard Parkes Bonington spent much of his short life in France. He initially studied painting in Calais before moving to Paris. In 1818 he first met Eugène Delacroix and enrolled in the atelier of Baron Antoine-Jean Gros. A keen traveller, he spent much time exploring Normandy and Picardy, frequently sketching at St Valéry sur Somme and nearby La Ferté with his painting companions, such as his great friend Paul Huet (whose work is also represented in the National Gallery collection). In 1825 he visited London with several French artists, including Delacroix, and in 1826 he travelled through Switzerland to Venice. He died tragically young, at the age of 26, from consumption.

Samos International Film Festival

The 1st Samos International Film Festival – Between Two Continents has started and there will be all kinds of amazing international film screenings on the beach.

Here’s the teaser video:

http://vimeo.com/46682910

And here’s the programme:
August 23th

11.00 / Birds by Aristophanes / Teen Theatre // Samos Town
21.00 / Opening Ceremony // Pythagorion Beach
21.30 / Paradise / Panagiotis Fafoutis / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
00.00 / Opening party // Mezza Volta / Samos Town
August 24th
11.00 / Masterclass with Panagiotis Fafoutis // Garden Cafe / Samos Town
21.00 / The Building Manager / Pericles Hoursoglou / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
23.00 / Head-on / Fatih Akin / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
August 25th
11.00 / Masterclass with Pericles Hoursoglou // Garden Cafe / Samos Town
18.00 / Birds by Aristophanes / Teen Theatre // Samos Town
21.00 / La source des Femmes / Radu Mihaileanu / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
23.30 / Io sono l΄ amore / Luca Guadagnino / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
22.30 / Yiafka – Pan Pan / Concert // Karlovasi High School
August 26th
21.00 / Closing Ceremony // Pythagorion Beach
21.30 / Soul Kitchen / Fatih Akin / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
00.00 / Closing Party // Escape Music Club / Samos Town

Thrill and Chill with Sportif in Samos

 

Kokkari Longbeach
Kokkari Longbeach

Sportif have put together new multi activity and windsurf coaching weeks to the wonderful Greek Island of Samos in the North Aegean. These fun and sociable weeks include windsurf coaching, mountain biking  and a host of activities led by successful British Coach Rob Horne.

Rob has enjoyed a reputation built up over many years in Dahab as a highly effective windsurfing coach. Based in Samos from June to October, he successfully teaches windsurfing to all levels from teenagers and beginners first starting out to expert level slalom and freestyle technique  including looping. With the variety of conditions and top quality Fanatic and North equipment available from the first class windsurf and bike centre you can be sure to improve and have fun  at the same time.

Source [Boards]