The rocky promontory of Korakas, at the northeastern tip of Lesvos is one of the—often deadly—‘entry points’ of migrant and refugee flows into Europe. In November 2015, at this place, volunteers and solidarity organisations created an ‘observatory of movements,’ which also functioned as a ‘welcoming station’ for migrants and refugees who were arriving by sea to the broader area, down to Sykamias beach.
Amongst the first actions of solidarians who staffed the station was the creation of a map of ‘positioning and orientation’. Specifically, the map indicates the point of ‘arrival’ of migrants and refugees and provides information and instructions for the route to follow and stations they would encounter in the surrounding area.
On the map we observe that the point of arrival of boats (in black, bottom right) is at the Korakas Lighthouse, where first aid is provided (cross symbol). Then, newcomers will have to walk a difficult path (footprint symbol) for 800 metres to reach Point Eight, the first station where they can get warm, drink water, and sit down to rest (at the respective symbols). From this particular point, a vehicle (flatbed truck) picks them up, which after 20 minutes’ drive transports them to the station at the former Cheese Factory, where heating, food, warm beverages, water, bathroom, basic clothing, and first aid are provided (at the respective symbols). There, they are picked up by the designated vehicle of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which transports them within 30 minutes, to the nearest station of the organisation.
It is very important to note the following about this particular map and the process of its creation (mapping):
- the map has been created with indelible paint on a marble surface in order to withstand rain, humidity and other weather and natural processes that could damage or destroy it.
- its symbolism is appropriate to be able to ‘communicate’ its message to speakers of all languages.
- the map provides important information of distances and time, as it is addressed to people who find themselves in an urgent situation and/or in danger, for whom it is very important to know these parameters as soon as they reach the shore.