Pavlos Pavlidis has spent nearly two decades examining and identifying the bodies of migrants and asylum seekers who have died attempting one of the least known but deadliest routes into Europe.
So far, that’s 359 bodies – a grim count and occupation. Pavlidis is tall, with sloping shoulders and a cigarette perpetually affixed to his hand. He has the gentle but clinical demeanour of someone used to delivering bad news, but would rather see what he does as bringing answers to the living.
“For me, it’s very important that I give an answer to people,” says Pavlidis, who is in his mid fifties and personally inspects every body that washes up on the Greek side of the muddy banks of the Evros River that divides Greece and Turkey. “It’s not a good answer. It’s a tragedy – but at least it’s an answer.”