Asylum seekers

by Alessandro Sala

A long documentation started in Sicily and arrived to the urban realities of the north tells with images and words conditions and vicissitudes that fill the experience of being refugees in Italy.


A strategic point of observation of forced migration in the Mediterranean, Italy is a central place to start a critical reflection on the dynamics of protection for refugees and asylum seekers. Media outlets and political speeches focused on landings constantly reduce long and violent migratory routes at the short moment of arrival, surrounding with silence both the paths taken by men and women before their arrival on the Italian coast, and the structures of marginality to which they are exposed in the places of arrival. An instant of media ostentation that makes people and experiences disappear in sudden emergency invocations, in numbers and bureaucratic procedures, or even behind imaginary rebuffs and racists. The scenario that we tell does not end in the first procedures of control and identification.


Reception camps, houses and improvised settlements, places born from institutional abandonment, spaces of transit and informal meeting, such as squares or stations, work often made of expedients and exploitation mark protracted


expectations, bureaucratic rituals, social and economic vulnerability filling the time after landing.


It is not “just” a matter of catching or dragging the eye. Rather, it is about involving the viewer in asking questions about what happens beyond the edges of the image.