Richard Mosse. Photo: Angelmedina G / EPA.

Photographer Arrested on Greek Island at Anti-Refugee Rally

Christian Viveros-Fauné of the Art Newspaper writes that Irish photographer Richard Mosse was arrested on the Greek island of Chios June 15 while observing an anti-refugee demonstration. Mosse, who won the 2017 Prix Pictet prize last month, is known for making work about the travails of Middle Eastern and North African refugees coming to Europe. The photographer was on the island taping an episode of Bloomberg’s “Brilliant Ideas” series.

Mosse was released several hours later after his arrest. Greek photographer Daphne Tolis helped with the discharge, as she told authorities at the jail that he was “a famous photographer who had recently been given an important award by Kofi Annan.” Tensions on Chios over the migrant situation are high—there have been a number of clashes, including a group of right-wingers trying to set fire to refugees at a Souda camp, as Helena Smith of The Guardian reported in April.

Via email, Mosse spoke about his poor treatment on Chios: “The police seemed to jump to the conclusion, based on me being a foreigner and wearing black, that I was an anarchist and must be arrested. I hurt no one; spoke to no one; bumped into no one; harassed nobody. If, as an EU citizen, I can be treated in this way by a European police force, how then are stateless and vulnerable refugees treated?”