Grooving Lampedusa


Mahamed and Zakaria arrived in Lampedusa from Eritrea and from Somalia in 2008, after a long and difficult trip across the Mediterranean Sea. During the last few years, the militarization has increased risks for anyone who ventures out at sea. Once landed on the pier, like other migrants before them, they too were stripped of everything, even of their subjectivity. Humbled to a mere identification number and made to stand in a line, of the whole island they only saw the pier, the CIE (Centre for Identification and Expulsion) and the airport. They took their first look at Europe and at Europeans through the Police bus windows. Since then, they had meant to go back to Lampedusa, visit the island and talk with the residents. They wanted to claim back their past as active individuals. In July 2012, while working on a project with the Migrants' Memories Archive and the festival 'Lampedusa in Festival', organised by the association Askavusa, Mahamed, Zakaria and I spent two days in Lampedusa, tracing back the places they saw on their first landing.
“To groove” in Italian means “solcare”, usually used as “furrow on the ground” but generally used with regard to “cross the sea”, “solcare i mari”. I liked this figurative idea “to groove Lampedusa” with Zakaria and Mahamed.

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