Tuesday nights at the Ritsona refugee camp in mainland Greece are different to the rest of the week thanks to an initiative by photographer Vassilis Nikas from Halkida. It is the night that the refugee children look forward to the most. Nikas comes and sets up the projector for a weekly movie. Around 150 children gather, but there are adults who come to watch as well.
For the children of Ritsona, Tuesday nights are the happiest. They gather around Nikas, welcoming him, offering to help him set up the movie, a form of escape from the harsh realities of their lives. “All the children are so enthusiastic and that’s what makes me very happy,” says Nikas, who initially came to the camp as a volunteer before the idea for movie nights cropped up.
The films are carefully selected. “I search all week to find which film I’ll present to the children,” he says. “Of course they are all animated and dubbed into the Arabic language so that the children can understand and enjoy these.”
He vows to continue his movie nights for as long as Ritsona remains open.