Fabrica launches Sciabica

The day after yet another tragedy on the Sicilian Channel, Fabrica launches Sciabica, the digital network that brings together the voices and images of the main actors in this story.

On the night of 3 October, almost four hundred people died in the Sicilian Channel. Dozens of others are missing. First pages. Cover stories. Headlines. Television discussions. For a few days. Then gradually, like the ebbing tide, the discussions quietened down, the voices became less loud. Two months after the shipwreck, the victims were buried almost by stealth. The survivors have been crammed into reception centres. The Lampedusans have been left to collect all that’s remained behind.

Sciabica is a word of Arabic origin that means ‘fishing net’. For Fabrica, Sciabica is the net that has been cast to collect, after all the clamour of the media, the tales of those that are left. The rhythm of these stories is slow and cannot keep up with the fast pace of the news. This is the rhythm of those who continue to live here, now that the spotlights have been turned off, and are trying to put a bit of order back into things: the sea, in the street, in their souls.

Sciabica is a digital platform that brings together the cries of protest or signs of solidarity of life that is going on. Digital messages, a contemporary version of the Sicilian paper ‘pizzini’, cover Sciabica with their photographs and tales of the seamen of Lampedusa who helped to save the shipwrecked: Costantino, who with his little boat Nika (‘small one’) saved 18 drowning victims; or Vito, who kept pulling them out of the water until his little boat began to sway dangerously, and who the refugees now call ‘papà’. There are also the stories of the survivors in the reception centre who describe the horror they have lived through, like Zerit, a 28-year-old sea biologist from Eritrea, who lost his brother in the sea. All of them, Lampedusans and refugees, write on a ‘pizzino’ the name of the person who Fabrica will send their message to. On Sciabica all of us can share and participate in the discussion through the social networks.