1000 Dreams - About refugees, by refugees

Stories from the LGBTQI+ refugee experience - photography exhibition

Our understanding of the refugee experience most often comes through stories told by non-refugees and therefore our perception can be incomplete and biased. 1000 Dreams is a project entirely authored by people with a refugee background and is made up of 1000 portraits and interviews of refugees across Europe. Photographs and interviews have been conducted by 40 refugees living in Europe, who went through workshops and mentorship teaching them photography and interview skills.

This exhibition is a selection of these refugee stories coming from the LGBTQI+ community, showing that the reasons for fleeing are almost the same for all refugees – persecution, violence and fear – and so are their dreams – a better, free life.

The exhibition will run until 5 July 2022. On 30 June, there will be an opening talk about refugee and LGBTIQ+ dreams and about rights and opportunities to pursue them. It is an honour and pleasure for the Heinrich Böll Foundation to have a pronounced expert discussing sheading some light on the LGBTQI+ refugee experience: the Greek lawyer Aikaterini Georgiadou, a legal activist who has contributed with strategic litigation to LGBTQI refugees and asylum seekers in Greece and can therefor provide some in-depth knowledge. The talk will be moderated by Despina Syrri, who is the founder of the Symbiosis - School of Political Studies in Greece and a long-standing partner of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Greece.


Witness Change

Witness Change is a non-profit organization that exists to end human rights violations for marginalized communities all around the globe through visual storytelling. Witness Change believes in amplifying the voices of survivors of oppression to humanize the abuse they endure. It collaborates with experts and advocates to transform opinions, open minds and change policies.



Drawing upon collaborations in education, rights and non-discrimination since 2003 in the Balkans and Greece, Symβiosis was founded in May 2011 in Thessaloniki. Grounded on the need for global civics, citizenship, social inclusion and political participation, we work towards democratic participation in political processes free of discrimination and exclusion, and on developing civic awareness on institutional practices regarding rights. Based on the premise that practicing human rights protection equals to democratic rule of law, Symβiosis focuses on information and education, freedom of expression, documentation and analysis, public debate and active civic participation, so that people and communities voice their needs and ideas. Symβiosis advocates for the political, social and economic participation of migrants and marginalised communities.


Aikaterini Georgiadou

Aikaterini Georgiadou is a lawyer appointed to the Supreme Court and the Greek Council d’ Etat and a member of the Bar Association of Thessaloniki. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Law and Political Sciences, School of Law, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She actively participates in Greek and international activities related to human rights issues and public goods and provided legal aid and counselling to asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants in the asylum-seeker sites in Greece. As an active member and volunteer lawyer of the Greek Transgendered Support Association, she defended human rights of transgender people in Greece and in European institutions.


Despina Syrri

Despina Syrri is the founder of the Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece and a long-standing partner of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Greece. She among other tasks has served as Education Specialist at the UNICEF Refugee and Migrant response in Greece, Advisor to the Regional Cooperation Council in Sarajevo and Senior Expert on the Roma Integration 2020 in Belgrade. She has inter alia been a visiting fellow at the Amsterdam Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and director of research and international cooperation at the Immigration Policy Institute in Greece. She has cooperated with the OSCE/ODHIR, Council of Europe and EU Fundamental Rights Agency and taught Political Science and Political Anthropology at the American College of Thessaloniki.


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Former Kindergarten building, 1st pier, port


Opening talk: MOMus - Thessaloniki Museum of Photography Café (1st pier, port), 30 June 2022, 16:30

Duration: 30/6/2022 – 5/7/2022

React! Ideas in motion - 30 June 2022