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”Lesbos. Two populations, two stories of migrations.

In 2015, nearly 500,000 refugees from the Middle East landed on the beaches of Lesbos. The ordeal of these massive arrivals awakens the collective memory of the residents of the island. It echoes the ”Great Catastrophe” of 1922, which caused the exile of 1.3 million Greek Orthodox, settled in Asia Minor since antiquity. 45,000 of them arrived in Lesbos in the greatest destitution.

The exiles of yesterday and today answer each other, look at each other.

In March 2016, the European Union and Turkey negotiated agreements to stop the migration flow. Henceforth, refugees must stay in place while waiting for the processing of their asylum applications. The stays become longer and a daily routine settles for those who become new inhabitants of Lesbos.

In 2018, I decided to go on the island for 3 months. I wanted to deepen the understanding of this territory through the prism of its history. When digging the traces of the past, I was trying to take a new look at the contemporary migrations which shake the island and its inhabitants. Mixing portraits and landscapes, this series is the result of a more personal study combining documentary work and aesthetic research.” – Mathias Benguigui

photographs by Mathias BENGUIGUI

From 10/10/2019 to 15/12/2019
150 bd Paul Claudel

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