Pserimos is a small island between Kos and Kalymnos, 4.5 miles off the coast of the Eastern Mediterranean, where its remaining permanent inhabitants stands at just around 25. Pserimos is considered a small Aegean diamond with fertile land and up until now with a lively sea. However, it is another typical example of the government’s disdain and chronic destructive and hypocritical policies. Apart from the politicians’ short trips, in order to photograph with the remaining residents, fake promises are made in front of the cameras and then not even the simplest and most obvious ones are kept.
A few decades ago, the island’s population ranged between 350-500 inhabitants, while the primary school consisted of up to 130 students. They were not able to finish school though and with zero infrastructure from the state, most residents were gradually forced to leave the island.
The complete lack of management of the marine resources, that were the main source of income for the people of Pserimos, destroyed their sources of income from the sea. The island's pottery unit, which made use of the excellent quality clay of Pserimos, offered important job positions while producing a quality product, exportable to the other Aegean islands. Nonetheless, when it closed down no real interest was shown from all those concerned politicians.
Today, at the end of August, on this beautiful island in the southeastern Aegean, the few remaining inhabitants try to survive with scarce resources from tourism. On this island, the system of subsidiarity doesn’t provide them with not even a community structure, so that they can organize and talk about the most basic needs of their place. A typical example is that the only employee appointed by the municipality of Kalymnos to collect waste on the island, remains unpaid for months, while the vehicle for waste collection has long been idle due to breakdown. As a result, the aroma of sage, oregano and thyme that once characterized the island is currently overshadowed by waste, that remains exposed to the sun for many days, and the sad image of scattered plastics.
Nevertheless, Pserimos remains a distinct diamond of the Aegean where one can find quality food and beautiful beaches and coasts – These are the resources with which the approximately 25 remaining inhabitants will survive the winter until spring. The local community continues the effort to survive on the island against all those insisting on devaluing and encouraging desertification of the small Aegean diamonds, though recent history proved that they have the standards to be truly sustainable and self-sufficient.
Lastly, let us emphasize that the island continues to offer beautiful photography angles for politicians from all over the political spectrum and especially for the current government, in case they want to make a few more wish lists or eloquent announcements regarding the Greek borderline.