Today, after 3 months, the comic report that I made about my stay in a refugee camp at Lesbos has been published by Dutch newspaper NRC. Since there are no photos or film allowed in the camps, I joined two other cartoonists (Mei-Li Nieuwland and Judith Vanistendael) on a trip to Lesbos, to draw the situation there. The end result is a series of three comic reports that are published in two newspapers in The Netherlands and Belgium. It’s the first time that the three of us took on graphic journalism.
The week in the camp was an experience I’ll never forget. I met many refugees there and also made very good friends among them. I hope that, with these comics, people will realize that the problems at Lesbos are not solved at all – even though the media stopped reporting about it. There are still people arriving everyday, and they live in camps that sometimes don’t even have water or electricity. What struck me most is the number of young children, living in an environment that’s even dangerous and terrifying for adults. This is Europe, on an island where tourists arrive on luxury cruises and drink fancy cocktails in the harbour. The contradiction is heartbreaking.
The reports can be read here, together with an interview and background info: http://www.nrc.nl/lesbos
Quick links to the comics:
Aimée de Jongh – De wachtkamer van Europa: https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2017/12/22/de-wachtkamer-van-europa-a1585992
Mei-Li Nieuwland – Een dag in Kara Tepe: https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2017/12/22/een-dag-in-kara-tepe-a1586016
Aimee de Jongh