David Tucker writes about how the personal and the political cross paths on the island of Samos, Greece, where refugees are still arriving daily
Photograph: David Tucker

At 2:30am on the island of Samos in the northern Aegean I walk through the main town in a sickly yellow streetlight glow. One end to the other and beyond, where three armed police eye me as I arrive at the old port. At this time of night I suppose I could be anyone; an innocent family member come to welcome new arrivals for sunny summer holidays, a people-trafficker looting wilted bones from wars stage east, or any shade of economy in between. White lights out at sea were vague and maybe just some far-off land but imposing themselves steadily they become industrial scale and the grinding metal bulk revolves a forty-five-degrees slowing stop. The cargo-door lands as a ramp, scraping at the edge of this land of bare skin, swimming.