The Coldest Summer – Three refugees’ stories

A working mother, a working father and two children who are forced to struggle to survive, to leave their homeland because it has become too dangerous, to abandon the life they knew as it had become unbearable, and leave their families behind in the pursuit of a life where they can think beyond the next day or month and in which they will be able plan a future in peace: to work, study and live among us with equal access to democracy, social rights and culture. The stories are based on the autobiographical narratives of refugees we met in Athens and in Berlin. They are stories we heard by chance. We chose to turn them into graphic novels in order to avoid drama but at the same time to retain narrative detail. The protagonists of the stories are people who could have been members of our family, our friends or our neighbours. They are, beyond doubt, people who, some day, will be recognised as fellow human beings in our societies and in our spaces. Let us welcome them.

The Athens Office of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung has already published Eleni Takou and Vassilis Papastergiou’s booklet, Migration in Greece: Eleven Myths and Even More Truths. That publication sought to deconstruct certain myths that circulate and are reproduced in Greek society, and its updated version (only in Greek) was published in the beginning of 2015. In view of the sharp influx increase of the past several months, our new contribution to the public debate turns to real stories told by real people. The volume also includes a literary text and two short essays on migration.