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Bouchra Khalili, The Constellations, Fig.6, 2011, silkscreen print on BFK Rives paper, 40 × 60cm. © Bouchra Khalili– Galerie Polaris, Paris
Since we met Sapik in the summer of 2009 in the Pagani refugee camp on the island of Lesbos, Greece, we have been regularly talking to him on the phone or via the internet.1 He became a co-researcher and adviser for our research project of Mig@net.2 Sapik has a very active Facebook account, which is linked to a well-informed and useful blog about mobility and transit issues relevant to the Afghan community. Suddenly, while writing this essay, it became impossible to contact him. We were very concerned. For many years there has been a steep increase in fascist and racist attacks in Greece, and Sapik — a well-known and active figure in the migrant community — could have been targeted. Fortunately, he contacted us again and said that he was doing well. He had moved to Athens. Though the race riots there in March and April 2011 were frightening, he said, he needed to go to the capital because he wanted to understand ‘what is happening in this country’. He was not hopeful that the large-scale mobilisa- tions against the government and the imposed austerity measures from May and June 2011 would be successful. His voice was quiet. We asked him when he would go back to Lesbos, where, at least in comparison to Athens, things were much more secure. He didn’t reply; the silence indicated that we didn’t understand what he was saying. He was in Athens in order to understand the current situation in Greece. He said that he didn’t know when he would be able to contact us again, and that he’d