I have been to the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, Europe’s largest refugee camp, several times since it was built in 2015. It was originally constructed to house three thousand people; as recently as February, it housed twenty thousand vulnerable refugees, an estimated 40 percent of them children. Each time I visited, the conditions had grown worse and the treatment of the refugees more inhumane. 

On the night of September 8, the Moria camp burned down. The fire left twelve thousand people homeless and living on the streets. One of the shelters they found was this parking lot, where hundreds of families spent their nights and days waiting for help. I took this photo on September 17—just over a week after the fire. 

Anna Surinyach is a Spanish freelance photojournalist based in Barcelona who focuses on migration, refugees, and human-rights issues. Her work has appeared in Revista 5W, NPR, and the Los Angeles Times, among others.

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Published in the November 2020 issue: View Contents
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