This is an impression from No Border Kitchen Lesbos, made in January 2016, with the participation of some of the people who make this space together. The song is 'Didi' by Cheb Khaled, and is a pop-hit heard daily on mobile phones in the kitchen.
Excerpt from No Border Kitchen Lesbos Manifesto:
"No Border Kitchen Lesbos is a non-hierarchical/horizontal self-organized group of cooking activists from all over the world that share the aim of supporting people on their journey to Europe. The Greek island of Lesbos is a place of transit for the majority of the people overcoming the European border regime.
Since 14th November No Border Kitchen is cooking at Tsamakia beach, which is close to the port of Mytilene. It was squatted by people seeking refuge as a place to shelter for a few nights and supported by the No Border Kitchen in terms of food and infrastructure, and by local groups and individuals in Mytiline. This is how NBK evolved into a self-organised camp where we support people seeking refuge, irrespective of their backgrounds and adapting to the current situations.
We create this space together and invite all people present to create it with us. Our resources are limited, but we try our best to support the different needs we have. NBK is not only about providing food for people seeking refuge, but crucially also about respecting each other as individuals. Each traveler has their own unique aspirations, desires and sets of circumstances that brought them to undertake their journey. In our self-organised camp all people regardless of gender, nation and religion are welcome. We hold regular general assemblies, translated into different languages, in which we explain the general idea of No Border Kitchen and how the space works, and also spread independent travel and border information to help people on their journeys. We hope that through the relations formed here we can offer each other the mental strength to ride the storms and challenges of what is fast emerging as a distinctly brutal historical era, with dignity and courage.
We, the No-Border-Kitchen-crew understand that what we are doing is a small attempt in the face of the enormity of destructive forces at work in the world today. But it is a real commitment of real individuals, it is one concrete effort among many, it is one piece of the puzzle of another possible world. We believe that all these efforts do make a difference and that they should be developed and expanded further.
Our broader desire is to build relationships of solidarity and form new collectivities in struggle. Therefore we also connect with the local activist structures, with whom we share common struggles and hopes and who we support. We believe that by establishing networks in our common struggle, we can fight powerfully as a united movement and rise together against fortress Europe.
United we stand, divided we fall.
FIGHT FORTRESS EUROPE!
NO BORDER, NO NATION!
FOR THE FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT FOR EVERYBODY AND EVERYWHERE"