'LETTERS TO JOEP'

In the summer of 1989, when I was 14 years old, I had a three-week romance with my first great love Joep. When we broke up we lost touch, but 27 years later we became friends on Facebook.

Along with the loving photos of his children Joep also posted all kinds of fake news about refugees and this resulted in an old-fashioned FB discussion. ‘Why don’t you go to Greece yourself to see how things really are instead of posting fake videos from your comfy chair?’ I asked him. Joep said that he would like to do that, but that he no longer had any days off.

That’s why I decided to go in his place. I chose the border village of Idomeni in Greece where at that moment a large blockage had developed due to the closure of the border by Macedonia. 15,000 people were forced to sleep in tents with temperatures near the freezing point.

From this camp I wrote 15 letters to Joep. The letters in which ‘left’, ‘right’ and ‘the truth’ disappeared, and we learned how to better understand each other’s point of view.