The ECHO Refugee Library project | Presentation and photo exhibition

The ECHO Refugee Library project will give a presentation about their work, together with an exhibition of pictures and artwork collected from Greece, by journalists, volunteers, and refugees alike.

They will also have their library van in Radcliffe Square, Oxford, from 10:00-12:00 and 15:00-17:00 (times subject to change).


The closure of the Greece-FYROM border in March 2016 left tens of thousands of refugees with no way forward. Over the last 18 months, we have witnessed incredibly difficult moments – boat arrivals in Lesvos, violent riots and protests, cruel and sudden camp evictions – to situations filled with hope – families reunited after years of waiting, and positive asylum applications received in a new, final destination.

Our hope is to share some of the stories, and introduce some of the people we came to know during our time as volunteers in Greece. In August of last year Laura and Esther decided to start a library project, motivated by what we felt was a gap in education and employment support for young adults in the refugee community. The situation in Greece constantly evolves but remains stagnant, and the endless waiting, coupled with a lack of access to employment and education opportunities, is taking its toll on those whose lives are forced to stay ‘on pause’. We want to shed light on this issue, and emphasize the importance of making these opportunities available.

We want to share interviews, portraits, and photographs collected by ourselves and other journalists and photographers that visited Greece. Through our mobile library project we were able to interact with people in a way that the context does not always allow for: in a situation where it is easy for the large number of refugees to become a faceless crowd, or numbers on a distribution spreadsheet, we want to highlight the unique individuality we were able to get a glimpse of through unique book requests, educational interests and employment ambitions.

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