‘Kolymbáo’ or ‘Kολυμπáω’ means ‘I Swim’ in Greek. A nod to our Greek roots and an ode to our love of swimming. Early morning lengths at our local pool are a meditative practice, the daily repetition to and fro focuses the mind and energises the body.We love swimming. When travelling we search out the local pool, each one seems to reflect in its protocols something of the culture it is within and the people who use it. This holiday we went wild swimming, connecting with nature, serene lakes and impetuous waterfalls which liberate the soul like nothing else.
However, there is also a harsher reality of the sea. Middle sister Tamsin Koumis spent 2016 volunteering at Dunkirk refugee camp where she and friends set up the Dunkirk Legal Support Team. Most of the refugees she has worked with have made sea crossings to get to where they are now: caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. This water passage is both a deathtrap and a lifeline.
I have wondered how best to support my sister and to do ‘my bit’ for the refugee crisis. Whilst I spent my summer wild swimming in southern France, she was supporting those who have nothing or given up everything to save their family. She has carried a small piece of this pain on her shoulders. Despite these being ‘extraordinary’ circumstances that many of us cannot relate to, their stories are human experiences we must share. We would like to create a response and tribute to the refugees as a small contribution by collecting shared responses to a universal thread that connects us all.
Originally we named it a zine as we didn’t want to expect too much or many submissions. However the (global!) response we have had has been absolutely incredible. A big thankyou to all of our contributors. Kolymbáo is available to buy online here. It will be for sale at our Christmas Pop Up Shop at a discounted rate. All profits raised from the sales go to Dunkirk Legal Support Team.
Jonathan Bean – Rob Campbell Davis – Craig Chalmers – Ioustini Giannakopoulou – Olive Gormley – Matthew Honey – Alice Hume – Suzanna James – Alice Kettle – Tamsin Koumis – Beth Lawless – Siona McClenaghan – Richard North – Leeor Ohayon – Hugo Olim – Jaz Read – Maria Saeki – Aniya Savage – Castro James Smith – Ben Venus – Gary Whiter & Marcus Roe – Althea Wiles