‘Invisible Women’

For every Feride in Moria who speaks and her voice is not heard, 

for every Eleni in Mytilene whose life is ignored, 

for every woman in the world trying to find a place.  


We women are screaming for freedom 

but they silence us using every form of violence. 

We’re tired of hiding, 

We’re tired of being scared, 

for our bodies, our children. 

We’re tired of hearing about another female homicide, 

From men to patriarchy 

From bosses to capitalism.  


Our sisters, 

it’s time for our voices to be heard 

it’s time to fight & 

to claim our rights.

For everyone in this world, 

for all of us, 

For life! 


(Invisible Women Manifesto)

‘Invisible Women’ is an initiative that sprang from the research team ‘Invisible Cities’ of the Department of Geography of the University of the Aegean, which includes women living or passing through Lesvos (many of them are no longer on the island).

Its original purpose was to respond to the call of Zapatista women for the Second International Conference of Women Fighting in Chiapas, Mexico in early December 2019. It was decided to send a video recording the speech of women who have been, or are trapped, in the hot spot of Moria as well as their actions against the homicides in the Aegean islands.

As part of the implementation of the video, meetings were held to discuss the call of the Zapatistas, an action of collecting voices, images and theatrical proposals and an action of joint creation of a mosaic-mural, in collaboration with Mosaik’s reuse laboratory. The process of reusing materials that seemingly are considered waste, in addition to covering real needs on the island, is highly symbolic as ‘a lot of human lives in Lesvos are characterised as ‘waste’. Therefore, changing the meaning of materials through their reuse becomes analogous to making visible women from every corner of the globe.

The video was prepared and traveled virtualy in the city of Mexico, where it was received by the Geobrujas team, which, through a convoy of 400 women on a 22-hour journey to the jungle of Lacandona, handed it over to the Zapatistas. The video sparked the opening of a communication channel with Mexican feminist collectives, a process that is still ongoing.

Violeta Dimitrakopoulou & Naya Tselepi
December 2019

Photos by:
Violeta Dimitrakopoulou


#All Women Against Moria

In the daily life of the women and girls of the hot spot of Moria, relentless insecurity prevails. More than 20,000 people live in a detention centre with a capacity of 3,000 people at the time of writing (April 2020). Even more so for women, this situation exacerbates their insecurity as most are victims of different types of violence, including rape. This violence is not unprecedented for them as it was most often experienced in the countries of origin, during their travel to Europe, and in the hot spot of Moria it is greatly intensified. Even greater is the need for women traveling alone to be housed in specially designed spaces, women’s ‘safe-spaces’. Unfortunately, these places are few and overpopulated, so very often single women are forced to stay in tents set up in areas with a male population, which makes their survival very difficult.

For the inhumane conditions they experience every day in the hot spot of Moria and for the asylum applications that are increasingly delayed for hundreds of immigrant and refugee women, they marched and demonstrated on January 30, 2020 from Moria to Mytilene. The main slogan of the women during the march was ‘Moria is a women’s hell’ which was supported by solidarity on social media with the hashtag #AllWomenAgainstMoria and he motto ‘tolerance for the conditions in Moria and the geographical limitation of asylum seekers on the islands is criminal’.

Their voices were very loud, and neither the torrential rain nor the shields of the uniforms of the special police forces could stop them.

The testimonies of the women themselves in conversations and interviews taken by one of the writers are exemplary of the situation:

“Moria is not Europe, Moria is worse than Afghanistan. We, women, we are not safe in Moria, in Moria people has been murdered, in Moria, they treat us like dogs (very bad),we request from the united nation to help us. Moria is not Europe, Moria is not a safe place, and our youth are hanging themselves to end up their lives. We want justice.”

“We want justice, we want freedom. When we had to cross the sea we realized we could drown, but we took that risk for a better future for our children. Unfortunately it is worse than Afghanistan, we do not feel safe in the Moria camp, we suffer. from the conditions that exist in Moria. We cannot even compare with hell the situation we have in Moria … ”

“We have putted our lives in danger, we have risked our lives when we stepped in the rubber boat, and we knew that it was possible to get drowned in the sea, we knew that it was possible that won’t make it alive to Greece. Why Greece is prisoning us? Greece is not Europe, Greece is worse than Afghanistan, we want justice, we have come to live and for that we have putted our lives in danger several times.”

“We want nothing else but just freedom from you, just let us to go because of these kids, we have lived our lives in all the worst possible situation, at least let these kids to have a peaceful life, why you have no mercy towards us? Why nobody hear us? Why you don’t want to listen to us? Why you do not understand? We have put our lives in danger to finally arrive here and yet you are deporting us back.”

Μigrant women are screaming for freedom, it’s time for their voices to be heard, for “invisible” women to be seen.


Violeta Dimitrakopoulou & Naya Tselepi
April 2020


photo 1: Natasha Papanikolaou, 
photo 2 & 3: Lesvos Solidarity Pikpa, All Women Against Moria, 
photo 4, 5 & 6:  Violeta Dimitrakopoulou