Saturday, 4 August 2018

How easy is it to put your children in a boat?

The fire in Mati (Greece, 2018; image taken from Facebook)

“Do you see how easily you put your children in a boat when in despair or in danger?”, someone wrote on Twitter on 26 July, when the whole of Greece was in profound shock after the tragic fire that claimed so many lives. As the personal stories of those who perished and those who survived, tried to save their loved ones or people they didn’t know at all were emerging, turning the tragedy into something less and less abstract, someone made this connection between the people who put their children in boats to be taken to safety during the fire and the refugees who attempt the perilous, often deadly, crossing of the sea. How many people made that connection? What kind of people made that connection? Would this connection ever occur to someone with a negative attitude towards refugees and migrants? Would this tweet be enough to make someone reconsider?