Mathieu Pernot
Ce qu’il se passe, Lesbos 2020


In 2020, Mathieu Pernot, photographer, visited the island of Lesbos several times. Located in the Aegean Sea, a few kilometres from the Turkish coast, this island has experienced a succession of crises in 2020, making it a nodal point in our history and our consciousness. Place of the adventures and conquests of Ulysses and Achilles, this territory is at the heart of Greek mythology and European identity. Because of its geographical location, Lesbos has always been a place of passage for people wishing to reach Europe. Since 2015, the Moria camp has served as an administrative registration centre and waiting area for tens of thousands of refugees from many war-torn countries (Afghans, Syrians, Congolese, Somalis, etc.), and has found itself at the centre of the European question on the reception of refugees and the right of asylum.

Described as a hell on earth, the camp experienced an unprecedented level of overcrowding in January 2020 and was then hit by the Covid epidemic. In September, it was completely destroyed by a fire started by refugees revolting against their situation. This book relates the scale of this new tragedy, combining the artist’s photographs with images taken from videos sent by the refugees with whom he has established a relationship, and thus constitutes a unique document of what is happening.

Edited by Gwinzegal (with the support of Fondation Antoine de Galbert)
Author: Mathieu Pernot
Published in May 2021
French edition
19 x 24 cm
180 pages
ISBN: 979-10-94060-32-2