(2013) Frammenti

Lampedusa offers a privileged observatory on the contemporary odyssey of transnational migrants. For over a decade, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children who have arrived on this small island in the Mediterranean - closer to Africa than to Italy - have been deprived of their belongings and taken to a so-called "identification and expulsion center" (CIE). Such an act of dispossession, at the same time real and symbolic, has deprived migrants of their identity, and turned them into mere numbers.
Beside losing their personal belongings - destined to be destroyed, - migrants are stripped of their basic rights. At the end of their long journey they must face the discriminatory and elusive laws and regulations of "Fortress Europe", even when they are seeking political asylum.
The opportunity for this work came from the idea to start a project to restore the objects, initiated by different associations and the Regional Library of Palermo. So, I found myself in a dark attic in Lampedusa, in front of dozens of boxes filled with objects taken away from migrants: broken shoes, clothes, cigarette packets, crosses, compasses, Bibles and Korans, diaries and personal letters. Originally thrown away in the island's dump, then recovered and stored by a group of local volunteers, members of Askavusa association, these fragments of migrant lives help to trace the different subjectivities of their owners, their faces, voices, stories and journey experience. They also recover expectations, fears, desires, together with their common need for survival.

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