Lesvos, July 7-10, 2016

(What is Crossing Borders) Crossing Borders is the great meeting of the left on the European refugee crisis. Its goal is to unite in discussion and intervention intellectuals, academics, activists from the front lines of the refugee crisis, NGOs who serve as institutional operational partners, voluntary and solidarity actors from social movements and alliances. We will meet on the island of Lesvos from the 7th to the 10th of July to discuss the multiple facets of the refugee crisis: the closed borders policy as politics of violence and impasse; the overturning of the rules of law in the asphyxiating context of an increasing democratic deficit; the domino of developments in the refugee crisis and their significance at the center and the fringes of Europe and the world; the great chapter of global solidarity networks.

(Information on the Organization) This international conference is organized by The Cooperative Institute for Transnational Studies in cooperation with the University of the Aegean (Laboratory EKNEXA – Department of Sociology) and features speakers and participants from Europe and the Americas. The choice of Lesvos is a fundamental element of the conference planning. It is a gesture of true support and solidarity. This is the first time a conference which unites so many academics, intellectuals, and politicians takes place on the very field of action, in the front line, in one of the harshest and most difficult fronts of the refugee crisis. It distinguishes this conference and bears witness to the role it aspires to play in the refugee crisis and beyond. Lesvos has without a doubt been the first destination and has received the highest number of repeated refugee and migrant flows over the past two years. It is also the locus of dramatic scenes and a highly symbolic place which will be written in the pages of the history of the refugee crisis.

(Speakers) Crossing Borders is the biggest meeting on the refugee crisis to be held in Europe. During the past two years of rapid developments there have been discussions on a smaller scale. This is the first time so many and renowned theorists, solidary and voluntary actors, international activists, and operational partners with international experience from Greece, Europe, and the world meet to discuss the refugee crisis, its origins and development. It is the first time the refugee crisis is discussed at such a scale and through such a multifaceted lens. Speakers include: Tariq Ali, Massimo De Angelis, Tim Anderson, Dilar Dirik, Costas Lapavitsas, Paul Mason, Maria Nikolakaki, Nina Power, John Rees, Zoe Konstantopoulou, Tithi Bhattachary, Francesca Coin, Feyzi Ismail, Stratos Georgoulas, Andrej Grubacic, Mike Neary, Denis O' Hearn, Richard Pithouse, George Pleios, Kenneth Surin, Aimilia Voulvouli.

(Presentations and parallel actions) The conference will take place in the facilities of the University of the Aegean. At the same time visits will be made to the refugee camps for discussion and dialogue, while refugees and migrants have been invited to participate by voicing their thoughts and experiences throughout the entire conference. There will also be parallel art and photography exhibitions under the direction of professor of the University of the Aegean Dimitris Papageorgiou. The poster of the conference features the work of awarded photographer Yannis Behrakis – Reuters, to whom we are very thankful for this offer.


Conference websites: and

Sponsored by: Stop the War Coalition (UK), Peoples' Assembly against Austerity, Real News Network,