Tag Archives: Migrants

07_Lampedusa_satelliteL

Lampedusa, October 3rd, a year later

[twitter_share]Fabrica and UNHCR Italia remember the tragedy with a reading[/twitter_share]

At 3am, 500 people set off from Misurata, on the Libyan coast. The boat, Giraffa, was just 20 metres long with seven berths and one toilet. The men in command had called Libya at dawn to say that everything was all right, the journey had gone well and land was in sight. It only took a moment and a λαμπάς (torch) for the Giraffa to become the greatest tragedy ever to have taken place on Italian territory not in a time of war. Three hundred and sixty-eight perished, among them many children.

Close to the coast, water began to leak into the Giraffa. In order to attract attention, the men in command soaked a blanket with diesel and set it alight. Lampas, λαμπάς, a torch shining bright.

As the fire spread from the blanket to the deck, the scared migrants pressed themselves together, causing the heavy fishing vessel to overturn. The sea became an inferno of water and diesel. “The cries sounded like seagulls”, was the account of the first rescuers on the scene, a group of friends who had come together on their friend Vito’s boat that evening to relax and fish. The first to realize that people were in the water, they pulled out 47 people from the sea. Lampedusa is the first strip of Europe for migrants desperately seeking civilization, fleeing from poverty and war. It is a refuge for them, an island far away from the noise and traffic, where wind and sea hold sway for those who want to find nature again.

(From the book Lipadusa by Calogero Cammalleri. Texts of the video readings are by Michela A.G. Iaccarino. Video are in Italian)

Alfie Nze reads Zerit’s story

Lidia Schillaci reads the piece Lampedusa

 

 

Migrants’ wishes

tumblr_mzk417ZYhd1sm8aquo1_1280

I wish to become a writer so that anyone can know the truth. Hassan This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_mzcgbvvq5L1sm8aquo1_1280

Good morning to all Italian and migrant brothers and sisters. I wish a good health insurance and a job. This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_mzcg6cC0s51sm8aquo1_1280

I need a job and a car to go to school. Karim This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_mzcfzklmma1sm8aquo1_1280

I wish I could study more and go to the high school so that I could learn to tell stories better. Hassan This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_mzcfdwqWvy1sm8aquo1_1280

Please I need work because I’d like that Italy is my country. Joseph Monday This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_mzcf8k1FvO1sm8aquo1_1280

I wish a house for me and my father. This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_mz3byontCD1sm8aquo1_1280

I wish I could feel the support of Italian people and I wish I could have warm water. Zacaria. This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_mz3btoKOty1sm8aquo1_1280

I want a job, any kind of job. And I want to be fine in Italy. Nouhou This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_mz3boulin01sm8aquo1_1280

I want a house, a job and rights for all refugees and for Italians. I want them not to play with our life and future anymore. This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_mz3bfusmTz1sm8aquo1_1280

My name is Jerry, I’m 18 years old. My dream is a good situation. I want my wife and my children to be Italian. This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_mz3b8oyOEU1sm8aquo1_1280

I want the internet, so that I can talk to my family. This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_myivl5O9Jl1sm8aquo1_1280

To Sciabica: I want my rights as a refugee to be respected, I don’t want to feel invisible anymore. Hassan. This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_myivepkS6H1sm8aquo1_1280

To Sciabica: I want to go back to Morocco. Hichan This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_myiv8eSTPW1sm8aquo1_1280

I wish to have a good work at least to take good care of me. I wish to get married. I wish to go to driving school, so I can have a car. I wish to have children with a good wife. Long life. Wisdom. Good house. I wish to go to computer school. This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_myiv0fKdIx1sm8aquo1_1280

To Sciabica: I wish some countrymen of mine could live with me. This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_myiu6pvgeO1sm8aquo1_1280

To Sciabica: I would like to have a job from 2014. This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_myiuj8HVWI1sm8aquo1_1280

To Sciabica: I wish my finger prints were deleted so that I would be free to find my way somewhere else. This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_myiu0lCsTP1sm8aquo1_1280

To Sciabica: I want a job. We (black and white people) can build the future of this country. Stop racism. I wish to have a family, like an Italian. God bless Italy. Thank you. This pizzino is part of a series of migrants’ wishes collected in December 2013.

tumblr_myituc6dzO1sm8aquo1_1280

A Sciabica: Io voglio tanto amore. Mohamed Amin Questo pizzino è parte di una serie di desideri dei migranti raccolti a dicembre 2013.

tumblr_mxx7k8XuWk1sm8aquo1_1280

To Sciabica: Thank you because you help us not forget and give dignity to these people and their stories. This pizzino was written by a spectator during “Sciabica, tales from Lampedusa”, a public lecture that took place at Circolo dei lettori in Turin on 3 December 2013.

tumblr_my465kZ0zs1sm8aquo1_1280

To Sciabica: I’m one of those of Lampedusa and I want to explain my story. From Libya and in Italy. We travelled for 3 days without anything to eat, without anything at all. Eventually, we arrived at Lampedusa. 29-06-2012 This pizzino was written by a spectator during “Sciabica, tales from Lampedusa”, a public lecture that took place at Circolo dei lettori in Turin on 3 December 2013.

tumblr_my4605cRlb1sm8aquo1_1280

To Sciabica: I know that, even from here in Turin I can here their voices with the wind, the sun, and with bad weather. I don’t want to look at these things anymore. I’m Elena, I’m 42 years old and I don’t want to connive anymore. This pizzino was written by a spectator during “Sciabica, tales from Lampedusa”, a public lecture that took place at Circolo dei lettori in Turin on 3 December 2013.

tumblr_my3tt59YUl1sm8aquo1_1280

To Sciabica: Italy is like a jail, in Italy every right is denied, of Italy you must be ashamed, in Italy only “un-heroes” give us a sign of hope for more human future. This pizzino was written by a spectator during “Sciabica, tales from Lampedusa”, a public lecture that took place at Circolo dei lettori in Turin on 3 December 2013.

tumblr_my2c6pvX191sm8aquo1_1280

To Sciabica: S.O.S from the Italian coasts: Hey you guys in the sea, on the boats, bring us a bit of humanity, here we have almost run out of it. This pizzino was written by a spectator during “Sciabica, tales from Lampedusa”, a public lecture that took place at Circolo dei lettori in Turin on 3 December 2013.

tumblr_mxnhhnuMTO1sm8aquo1_1280

Shadow in the waves. This pizzino was written by a spectator during “Sciabica, tales from Lampedusa”, a public lecture that took place at Circolo dei lettori in Turin on 3 December 2013.

tumblr_mxlo97iTiQ1sm8aquo1_1280 (1)

Samuel Pieta. This story was really interesting. I’m one of those migrants. If you want to know my story, you can find me at former IOM. This pizzino was written by a spectator during “Sciabica, tales from Lampedusa”, a public lecture that took place at Circolo dei lettori in Turin on 3 December 2013.

Sciabica’s Pizzini

pizzini_3october2013

To the Minister of Defence: Why are you not investigating a clear case of failure to offer assistance at sea? We are not victims of the sea, but of the failure to offer assistance at sea. 157 living persons await replies for 370 dead. On 3 November it will be a month: it will already a month’s anniversary of the death by water of 370 human beings. Not victims of the sea, but of the failure to offer assistance at sea. According to the testimony of all the survivors of the tragedy of that 3 October, of the boat that capsized with 500 Eritrean migrants on board, when they were already inside Lampedusan waters, 800 metres from the coast, they were approached at 3-3.30 a.m. by two vessels. The survivors recount: we were approached at 3-3.30 by a twin pair of boats, those used by the Italian coastguards. One of them circled round their boat. Despite their shouting and calling for help, the two vessels did not come to their rescue, nor did they signal the presence of the boat. The migrants ask: despite the sophisticated control and defence systems on the island, the numerous authorities present whose job is frontier surveillance, how could they not have seen us? The migrants ask: if it had been a boatload of armed and ill-intentioned individuals – not people fleeing from hunger, war and death – that had set foot on the island, would they have been able to act undisturbed on Italian territory? The migrants ask: why are the Italian magistrates not acting on the case and examining our queries? This story was collected by Habeisha agency (http://habeshia.blogspot.it/), founded by don Mussie Zerai, which acts as a mouthpiece for the accusations of the Eritrean migrants who survived the tragedy of 3 October, 2013, in the sea off Lampedusa.

86_Kaou 85_Hassan 84_Samuel P 72_pizzini_LucianoOltramari 69_pizzini_LilloMaggiore 67_pizzini_Albero Storto 65_pizzini_LIBERO
sdadsad

sdadsad

62_pizzini_VincenzoLombardo 46_pizzini_AntoninoTaranto 43_pizzini_ToninoMartello 42_pizzini_Mehtani 40_pizzini_AiamAlsady
вфывфы

фывфы

01 pizzini_VitoFiorino

To Herman Van Rompuy, Predisent of the European Councial and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission: Mi name is Vito Fiorino. I’m 64 years old and I’m not a hero. Those of you that don’t live and work on the sea, do you know that you can die with the maestrale blowing? I had gone out to cast my nets. This is the season for tuna. I was far out, MARE PIATTO, with a light wind blowing from the west. It was the scirocco.where the sun sets, at six in the morning,. My mate heard voices calling. That’s the shearwaters calling, flocks of them, I said to him. Those shouts coming up from the water, I thought they were seagulls. Instead they were men. We didn’t have to even look at each other to decide what we had to do. I took a lifebelt and tied it to a rope. We started pulling up one person after another, naked, dirty with diesel, as the sea threw them up. How many of you are there, I asked. They said 500. I could see 50 in the water. I realized we were dealing with an enormous tragedy. How long have you been in the sea, I asked. 4 hours, they said. But I know that in those conditions in the water an hour seems like a day. Lucky for them that the wind had given them the scirocco, which had blown them towards land and not out to sea. Those who are familiar with the sea know that you can die with the maestrale blowing. In the meantime we went on pulling people on board: I didn’t realize how many there were until we started to swing from side to side with the weight. I waited for permits, but none came. So I put the engine into gear and returned to the port. While they were disembarking I counted them: there were 47 of them. 46 men and just one woman. This is my story of what happened. If it’s only now that I am telling it that’s only for the good of the island. Our institutions won’t do anything. People who think that they have nothing to do with all this won’t do anything. They showed that in the past and they have shown it in these last few days as well. But if Nations are really as United as they say they are, they must do something about it now. I did what was right. I would do it again tomorrow, any moment, and even more. The 47 survivors come and see me every day. They come and see me at my daughter’s bar, and they say ‘ciao, papà’. Vito Fiorino is 64. He was born in Bari and brought up in Milan. The first time he came to Lampedusa was on holiday, in 1990. When he returned home he felt like a stranger. He sold his woodwork shop and stopped working in the city where he had lived for almost 50 years. His nostalgia for the island drew him back. He has been a Lampedusan for 13 years now. On 3 October, 2013, he saved 47 people from certain death at sea. Text and photograph: Michela A.G. Iaccarino / Fabrica

04 pizzini_MussieZerai

To the Italian authorities: My name is Mussie Zerai, I’m 38 and I’m not a hero. Stop conferring citizenship to the dead, start giving rights to the living. I was born under the heel of the Ethiopian dictatorship in my country Eritrea, and arrived in Italy in 1992. Not in a boat, but comfortably seated in an aircraft; I left with a regular visa. While power was being concentrated in the hands of a few, and mutual suspicion was growing in the eyes of many, I decided, having been warned by those signs of a war that was growing from the ashes of another one, with fortune on my side and a father in Italy, to try and see what is the destiny of free men. When you are allowed to say what you think, to decide what life you will lead, make your choices without having a gun to your head. I left one Eritrea behind and I found one million and a half, far from Asmara. They crossed the desert on foot, the sea on leaky boats, in the sights of machine guns always ready to shoot. Fugitives escaping from a regime that with one hand keeps them in chains, with the other leads them to the frontier. There are members of the Eritrean government that are involved in the traffic in human beings. Their names have been written, black on white, by the UN, maybe no one has read them. In that corner of the desert that is my country, where we had already celebrated the Liberation in 1991, the battle has never been over. After a history written with 30 years of war and 300 thousand dead who had fought for the Independence, without knowing that they would win it at the price of liberty, the conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia was concluded in 2000. 13 years have passed and 4 million and a half people think that the war is still on. We are under attack, says the regime, Ethiopia is about to invade us, says the voice of the one State television station. Take up your weapons, men and women, from 18 years of age until death, says the dictator, for whom that frontier that no one has ever erected is a shield and an excuse. The UN has written it, black on white, maybe no one has read it. In Eritrea today, if your son has escaped, either you pay or you are thrown into prison. If you do not practise the official religion, either you pay or you are thrown into prison. If you are a dissident, you go to prison. If you are a conscientious objector, you stay in prison. The regime finances and trains Somali shababs in Eritrea. The UN has also written this, black on white, in a dossier, maybe no one has ever read it. Sometimes I receive questions from those from whom I would like a reply. I told the Italian government, stop conferring citizenship on the dead, start giving rights to the living. Stop all this salam halek in front of a bloodthirsty tyrant. There is a UN dossier that speaks of the not-too-limpid relations between Italy and Eritrea. Names have been put down, black on white, maybe no one has read them. I told the European government, if you really want to help them, start from their country of origin. There is a more blind person than he who does not want to see and that is he who has already seen. If the West writes treatises and is also finding ways of getting round them, it would be better to stop publishing these dead letters of yours altogether. Five hundred irregular Africans died while trying to reach Italy, said the regime 7 days after October 3. They didn’t call them sons, they didn’t call them fellow citizens. And when the eyes of the world spoke of an Eritrean massacre at sea, the voices of the supporters and financiers of the power machine decided that a little bit of the truth must appear. So the official voices of Eritrea in Italy, important figures of the State, emerged from their Chinese boxes of the political game and were officially invited by the Italian government to participate in the funeral ceremony at Agrigento. Two plus two always makes four, everywhere in the world. It wasn’t relatives of the dead, but sustainers of the regime from which the migrants had been fleeing, who placed fake flowers on their coffins. On the day of the State funeral there were also some young Eritreans present, born in Italy, Sweden, Germany, their heads bowed before the tragedy. These young people, second-generation Eritreans, a European cell indoctrinated by a dictator from whom others of their same age had been desperately fleeing, recited their part. That day they said they were relatives of the victims, instead of simply the victims’ new and younger executioners. Brought up in the comfort of democratic Northern Europe, then trained every year in Asmara, living the high life in a land that for others is only dust and death, they believe in those who say you are the new kadri, the new hope for our land. Deceiving also authorities and institutions, bilingual or often trilingual, they pretend to be migrants, mingle with those waiting to apply for asylum, enter the reception centres and draw up lists of fugitives, then file them with a photograph, and send everything off to Asmara. Where the families that have remained behind will be threatened with death lists. This time I have written their names, but no one has read them. Don Mussie Zerai is a Catholic priest born in Eritrea in 1975. He has lived in Rome since 1992. He has founded an association called Habeshia and helps fugitives who have managed to reach Europe. He is the only person in Italy to have given names to the collaborators of the regime who have filed refugees seeking asylum in Italy in order to keep a hold over families left behind in Eritrea. He has been attacked on various occasions for his declarations. He has never stopped making them. Text and photograph: Michela A. G. Iaccarino / Fabrica

02 pizzini_CostantinoBaratta

To Enrico Letta, Italian Prime Minister, and Angelino Alfano, Italian Minister of the Interior: My name is Costantino Baratta. I’m 56 and I’m not a hero. Set up humanitarian corridors now. Or are you waiting to have another 300 deaths on your conscience? At 7.20am we set off in Nika. She’s called that because it’s only 5 metres, it is: well, it’s little, it’s ‘nika’. We were going out to start fishing. Out at sea instead of the horizon all we could see was arms waving in the water. People crying for help, shouting desperately. The first person I pulled out I gave him the only towel I had, because he was trembling like a leaf. They said from the other boats: don’t think of the dead, save the living. The living, a question of minutes, and the sea would swallow them up. They were all male, and all naked. With all that diesel on their bodies, they were slippery in our arms. All covered in diesel they were. When Nika was full we began to go back towards the shore. Among the bodies sinking down in the water I saw one that was moving. I pulled it up: it was a girl and she was still alive. We stretched her out on the deck and she was coughing up diesel; she was the first we took to Casualty. I’m worn out, like this island. I remember the first landing 20 years ago, when we would find coins, torn documents and clothes on the beach while we were swimming there. These people that set off on this sea, even if the weather is bad, know that it’s better to die than to go back. They come from places where they have seen everything and everything has been done to them. The only thing that has changed since those first landings is that the military contingents doubled. Then nothing else changed. They haven’t even removed the old boat carcasses from the port. A graveyard in the sea and one on land. Even when we can’t go on any longer, when there is nothing left on this island, we’ll go on helping them all the same. But if you give us another medal I’ll be the first to refuse. I had to tell this story to a Swedish MP, to a Norwegian TV, to German journalists. They couldn’t believe it, they knew nothing about all this. But if they’ve only found out about it now, what are they talking about in the European Parliament? Anyway I wanted to find that girl. I looked for her in the reception centre but nothing. In Casualty – but nothing there, either. Then there was the funeral ceremony at the hangar. I might find her there, I thought. I recognized her by the ring she wore on her finger. She had been wearing it on the day of the shipwreck. She recognized me immediately and flung her arms round my neck, as on that day on the sea. Costantino Baratta was born in Trani in 1957. When he fell in love with his future wife he also fell in love with the island and stayed on in Lampedusa. Since 1976 he has worked as an amateur fisherman. During the 2011 shipwreck he helped Tarak, a Tunisian migrant, to join up with his relatives in Sweden. On 3 October, 2013, he saved 11 people from certain death at sea. Text and photograph: Michela A.G. Iaccarino / Fabrica

03 pizzini_ZeritGebray

To the Italian people: My name is Zerit. I’m 28 and I’m not a hero. I want the Italian people to know story and I want to know why I wasn’t invited to my brother’s funeral. It was the Italians that built my town, Elabaned, in Eritrea, where I was born 28 years ago. Just in case you’ve forgotten, we were your colony. I’m the first migrant in my family and I’m a marine biologist. I used to spend my days talking with fish, sectioning algae, studying the routes of the shoals of fish, analysing microorganisms in the sea. Day after day I would collect secrets from the waves as the wind played on them. But what there was beyond the sea was what I didn’t know yet, and what I didn’t ask. That was the last mystery to be revealed. To do that, there was no alternative. I thought I knew the sea and I would observe it from above, from the land. I had to do it for my country when I did my military service, which starts when you are 18 and ends when you are in the grave. My wages were zero, sometimes less than zero. There was no alternative to that, either. So I started walking. I was lucky because I knew in what direction to go. After 3 days of dust and sun, without stopping, I arrived in the Sudan. My brother Samuel, who was a mechanic, lived there. 25 years spent hoping. $1,600 a head is the price of hope as far as Tripoli, Libya, and my brother and I made it there. Locked up in a house with another 500 Eritreans, surrounded by men with rifles, we waited. Yes, it was terrible. But I put up with it, because there was no other alternative. There was the sea in the town, but I didn’t see it. I remained there for one month without even going out to look for it. All 500 of us left the house together: another $1,600, the cost of a second hope on board a fishing vessel. After hours spent in the sea, two boats appeared out of the night. One of them circled around us at a distance of 20 metres or so. And all 500 of us, in the black darkness of the night, started to smile through our clenched teeth. It was as if the darkness had already ended because we weren’t afraid any longer. We’re safe, we shouted. They’re going to come back and pick us up, I said to Samuel. I’ll be able to watch the sea again from the land, I thought. After more than an hour we realized that no one was going to come and save us. One mile from the coast of Lampedusa we set fire to a blanket to attract attention. It was like lighting a candle in a tomb. A light in the middle of nothing. But there was no other alternative. The blanket caught fire and we got scared. We all rushed to one side and the boat capsized. Those of us who were still alive began to swim. There’s no point crying water in water. After swimming for 3 hours I turned and saw that my brother had fallen behind. He said, Go on, Zerit, get to land, call home. He said, ‘Bye Zerit. And I was on the point of fainting in the sea, I couldn’t swim for the two of us, I thought ‘it would be terrible for my mother to lose two sons in the same night – and I left my brother behind. I called ‘Bye Samuel. I, Zerit, am alive because my brother is dead. My last goodbye I said to him at the camp when they showed me a photograph of a body swollen with water. I who spent my life studying the sea, I’ve explored the seabed and recognized the voices of the seashells – did not recognise my own brother. So he died a second death. The day of the funeral I couldn’t wait for the result of the DNA test that would tell me, Yes, that’s your brother Samuel. Now those people from television are asking me if I’m sad, and if looking at the sea makes me sadder. But it’s you that have got to give me an answer. Tell me why I wasn’t at my brother’s funeral. It was like leaving him in the water a second time. So I abandoned him for a third time. At the refugee camp on the day of the funeral, to which we – brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers – were not invited, it took us a minute to decide and all come together. When we realized that we couldn’t go to Agrigento, that there would be strangers who would be throwing flowers on shiny coffins of expensive wood, while there were still bodies trapped in the rotten wood of the boat, we understood that they were dying for a second time. We also forced the gates behind which they wanted to keep us locked up that day, we prayed 4 times towards the south, between our fingers we held wild flowers that grew around the camp, and when it came to the hour of the tragedy we all went down to the sea. It was the sea that I asked about Samuel. Hoping that it will reveal this last secret, or that at least his soul may return that day. I don’t look at the sea any longer. I’ll go anywhere as long as it’s as far away as possible from this island, and Italy. I don’t want to live in a land where my brother was left to fall asleep exhausted among the waves. Don’t call us migrant victims; we are just survivors. I’m alive because my brother is dead. That’s the truth of it, and you haven’t said it yet out loud. Perhaps the Italians want to know, but even if they don’t, they have to hear it all the same. There are 157 stories like this in the camp. You should get to know them all. Zerit was born in Eritrea 28 years ago. After graduating in marine science he decided to join his brother Samuel in Sudan, with him continue the journey towards Libia, and from Tripoli reach the Italian coast. Samuel died in the sea October, 3rd when he was about one hour away from the coast. Zerit arrived in Lampedusa. Text and photograph: Michela A.G. Iaccarino / Fabrica

10 pizzini_DamianoSferlazzo

My name is Damiano Sferlazzo, I’m 38 and I’m vice-mayor. Lampedusa is in Italy and Italy is in Europe. The solution is in North Africa. There are no landings on Lampedusa: there are only rescues at sea. Not illegal or irregular immigrants – on board the old boats there are just refugees seeking asylum. European international law should create alternatives to the traffickers of human beings. One solution there is: to open up a humanitarian channel in North Africa. Damiano Sferlazzo was born in Lampedusa in 1975. He has been vice-mayor of Lampedusa since 2012.

09 pizzini_PietroPachino

Pietro is a fisherman from Lampedusa and he’s not a hero. The gospel story was a metaphor. You use nets to pull in fish, not men. Pietro Pachino was born in 1949 in Lampedusa. At sea they call him Pachino.

09 pizzini_SalvatorePalmisano

Salvatore is a fisherman from Lampedusa and he’s not a hero. The gospel story was a metaphor. You use nets to pull in fish, not men. Salvatore Palmisano was born in Ancona in 1973. His boats are called Nuovo Avvenire and Spaccaghiaccio. Spaccaghiaccio is also his nickname at sea.

32_pizzini_Room 31_pizzini_Bed 30_pizzini_Bathroom 29_pizzini_non ci sentiamo italiani 28_pizzini_treno_Libia_Roma 27_pizzini_sheet 26 pizzini_Bottle 20 pizzini_FrancaParizi 19 pizzini_Aziz 18 pizzini_GiuseppePaterna 16 pizzini_MilleLire 15 pizzini_1847 14 pizzini_DonMimmo 13 pizzini_ImamKeithAbdelhafid 12 pizzini_RomanoPala 11 pizzini_Russom 09 pizzini_GiovanniMannino 09 pizzini_FrancescoDavì 07 pizzini_FilippoPucillo 06 pizzini_LucaMarcoComellini 05 pizzini_Annalisa_DAncona 001_pizzini_AlessandroGassmann 000_pizzini_JacopoFo
tumblr_n27yniAWRB1sm8aquo1_1280 (1)

Buba remembers Libya: “Better to die than stay in Ziltan prison”

As soon as you enter Libya you realize at once that everything is just money, even the lives of Africans. If you have enough money to bribe the police they let you go through, otherwise they take you into a storehouse or a garage and beat you up. If you have someone who can send you money you have to hang on just long enough to receive the money transfer, but if there’s nobody who can help you, well, you just have to hope that they will get tired of torturing you before you die, and then at times they let you go.

Other times they transfer you to the prison at Zlitan and in that case perhaps it would be better to die. Everyone knows Zlitan in Libya, Zlitan means fear. Anybody who rebels or tries to get away is savagely punished. Sometimes they hang you up head down and beat you with rods, as if you were a sack, or you are strapped to a table and they whip the soles of your feet. At first it is only painful, but then if they go on too long you stop being human, your eyes glaze over and you forget that you are alive.

When I left Libya I didn’t shed a single tear. There were fifteen of us on that boat, there was a pregnant woman and a child. Then the sea became black, the boat overturned and everything we knew was of no use to us. The sea doesn’t understand things of the land, your clothes and shoes become heavy and pull you down. Only eight of us got to Lampedusa, and all naked. I never knew what the woman was called, and I never will.

I now live in Turin in the occupied ex-Ministry of the Interior houses. Italy is not like Libya, although even here the lives of Africans are not worth much.

In Italy they take your fingerprints and they give you a number. They call you a refugee, they give you a piece of paper and shut you up in a reception centre. Then the centre closes and you are out on the street – the project is finished – and you discover that “international protection” is just two words put together.

Buba is 30 and comes from Gambia. In March, 2013, he took part in Turin together with a hundred refugees like him in occupying the ex-MOI (ex-General Fruit and Vegetable Market) centre where he lives. He is at the moment going to secondary school and hopes to become an electrician.

The story of Bishara / Torino, ex-MOI

Bishara is 27 year old and he comes from Tchad. Since 2013 he has lived at the ex-MOI occupation in Turin, where he found a place to stay along with hundreds of other migrants after the end of the “North Africa Emergency”.

tumblr_n1uyem1DM81sm8aquo1_1280

His dilemma was having to decide who to save and who to leave to drown.

His dilemma was having to decide who to save and who to leave to drown. He still can’t stop thinking about it. Marcello Nizza, a new job every season, on the night of the 3rd of October was out at sea off the coast of Lampedusa with a group of friends. Some of them were fishing, he was just enjoying the peace of the starlit night over the waves. He had been coming to Lampedusa for his holidays for many years, but this time it was different. He had moved back there after the summer with the intention of settling down and opening up some kind of activity on the island of his dreams. Six months working with the tourists and six months of sea. But he had not taken account of the Sicilian Channel and the dreams of 500 desperate boat people off Lampedusa that night of the 3rd of October.

Together with his friends he saved 47 that night. They pulled them out as they threshed about in the water, desperately grabbing arms that were slippery with diesel, slippery, so slippery.

They loaded up the boat until they realized that they were listing dangerously to one side. It was terrible, with the sea still full of people calling for help, but they had to head for the coast otherwise they would all have perished. He became a hero, was awarded medals, gave interviews, created intense emotion and inspired admiration.

But it hasn’t been the 47 survivors who have haunted his nights all these months. It’s been all the others: all the arms you could see waving for a moment in the distance and then disappearing. The arms seized and slipping out of your grasp into the sea. “The problem was,” he says after staying away from Lampedusa for a few months, “that I was in the prow of the boat. I was guiding my mate who was at the rudder. So it was my directions that decided who was saved and who was drowned. That’s a terrible responsibility to have to live with.”

The shipwreck of the 3rd of October was also the shipwreck of his certainties, clear proof of how helpless we all are, a point of no return. “I returned home for a few months, to Catania.” A psychiatrist would probably call it post-traumatic stress disorder, which affected so many American soldiers after the Gulf War, but Marcello has no time for that. “I helped myself alone, my friends also helped me. Now I’ve got to concentrate on the 47 that we managed to save”.

Five months later, Lampedusa is an island without boat people. After the scandal of migrants being disinfected like animals the Rescue Center at the edge of the town has been shut down for refurbishment. There are dozens of workmen building a new pavilion under the watchful eye of carabinieri and soldiers. Along the metal enclosure there are still bits of clothing and fragments of silver thermal sheet stuck to the barbed wire. Among the brambles single gym shoes. All that remains after the clean-up operation.

Along the roads of the island, in the bars and piazzas, there are more police than fisher folk, the bungalows of the La Roccia tourist village house the carabinieri, on the square above the port you can see the five army lorries, the soldiers are billeted in the hotel next to them. At the old port at night the fishing boats are lit up by the Guardia di Finanza neon sign. In the bars you meet policemen from Frontex, while at sea there are the Navy ships presiding over that invisible wall that separates the coasts of Africa and Europe. If you manage to slip through you can become a refugee, otherwise you just remain a desperado like all the others. There are no landings in March, the sea is too rough, and the few vessels that attempt to cross the Sicilian Channel are all intercepted.

It has taken Marcello five months to find the strength to get over his nightmare and return to the island that he had chosen as the place to live. Who knows whether he’ll ever manage to enjoy the stars above the waves again.

tumblr_n1lzscagZM1sm8aquo1_1280

Sekou Camara

My name is Sekou and I’m 26 years old. I arrived in Italy by way of Lampedusa, but I don’t remember anything of the island, because when I got there I thought I was dead. Before everything started I was in Tripoli. I was working on a construction site when Gaddafi’s militiamen captured me. I didn’t know what they were going to do with me, if they wanted to force me to fight their war or lock me up in a prison. I didn’t ask any questions when they caught me: I was afraid of their rifles and maybe also of what they would say. I discovered that my prison was to be a fishing boat and the war waiting for me was the sea. My place was down below, in the hold, where you couldn’t breathe and the smell of fish was unbearable. We couldn’t even stay dry: we fought against the sea that poured in by throwing buckets of water out through a small porthole. We had been at sea for two days when the boat stopped. It was night. Around us there was just water and sky. “It’s the work of the devil,” someone whispered. As it passed from mouth to mouth, the devil from just a simple word became something real and terrible. We decided to collect everything we had, money, rings, bracelets, and gave it to the sea. Hoping the devil would be satisfied and let us continue on our journey. At the first light of dawn we started to move again. We hadn’t eaten and drunk anything for two days but we were full of hope because we knew we had almost arrived. But after another day and another night at sea we still hadn’t seen land. And we had almost run out of diesel. At that moment a thought crossed my mind: I was going to die. However much I tried to push the thought away, it kept returning. We were all going to die. This thought grew more and more inside me until in the end there was nothing else except this fear. My mouth can produce a lot of languages: I know French, English, Arabic, Wolhof, Pulaar, but I couldn’t pronounce a single word because there is not one that has any sense when you know that you are already dead. I don’t know how much time passed. Voices, people – they didn’t exist any longer, nor did the sea, the smell, my thirst, and the sight of land, of Europe, that didn’t appear. Maybe it was me that didn’t exist.

My heart stopped while they were saving us. “Heart failure,” the doctors said. The only memory I have of Lampedusa is the helicopter that took me away from the island. In Rome I spent two months in a hospital, without ever finding anything to say. There was not one word, a single word, in all the languages I know, that could give any sense to what I had been through.

Sekou Camara comes from Guinea. He arrived at Lampedusa in 2011. After a long period of rehabilitation in hospital he found accommodation in Rome, where he lived for a year working as a tyre repairer. He now lives in Turin and is looking for a job.

tumblr_n1ccks1oUx1sm8aquo1_1280

Vitalis’ story

My name Vitalis and I did not want to come to this country. I did not pay any ticket, I chose the sea when the soldiers of Gaddafi, with gun pressed on my face, asked to choose between a boat and a bullet. Leave or die. I was exhausted when I arrived in Lampedusa, the journey had lasted five days and I was wondering what my future would be, it was enough for me to be with my feet on dry land, with the sea behind. I spent two months in the center of Manduria and they told us that this was a temporary destination, we had to be patient, they took our fingerprints and we were given a number. Then one day, with the buses we have been moved to Piedmont, in Settimo Torinese. Our new home was called Hotel Giglio.

At the time Giglio was always empty, we could survive, but every day we were not alive. We had a bed and hot meals and days were all the same but we are not farm animals, we are men. On January 23, the revolt broke out, we were exasperated by the smallest things, that day we blocked the road outside the hotel and the police arrived, the people working there all ran away but we did not want to hurt anyone, just wanted to shout that we are also men, who want to live. After the revolt I have been expelled from Giglio, it was cold in those days and I found that many people like me were on their way. The camps were closing, and we who came from Libya we stood in the streets, in train stations to freeze.
When they told me that a group of refugees was thinking of occupying some blocks of flats, and there were Italians willing to help, I wanted to join them because I do not want to be cared for, I want the opportunity to take care of myself, to feel that I am to decide about my future.

Today, these homes are a small Africa, we are here in six hundred people, we come from 25 different countries and we are learning to live together. At first Ghanaians wanted to be alone with Ghanaians and did not trust anyone else, and so it was for Nigerians and Malians and Eritreans. Now Ethiopians and Tuareg are drinking tea together, Sudanese and Ghanaian divide the expenses and meals. We are all equal here, we’re the ones who came from Libya, the survivors. Even now it is not simple, we live without hot water and no heating, but this is our home and not just a place to stay because from here we stopped being treated like children and we are ready to fight for our rights and the our dignity.

Vitalis is 28 years old and comes from Nigeria, arrived in Lampedusa on August 13, 2011. After the closure of the Emergency reception centers in North Africa , it was found in the street while being beneficiary of international protection . Along with hundreds of other refugees gave birth in the city of Turin employment population EX MOI where he currently resides.

Sciabica_Samuel

Looking for a place for happiness

My name is Samuel and I hope that at least this is my place. First I was at  Yaoundé in Cameroon, I lived in a house on the first floor, in the market area. Down below I sold shirts, trousers, clothes of all sorts. The people in the market all knew me and I knew everyone. When the government decided to build a new trunk road we found that our houses and shops were all going to be demolished. So we decided to protest, all the tradespeople of the area, all together, to ask for another place to go at least. The government didn’t like that and I discovered in a few hours that I had become a political criminal.

I fled my country at night and made my way to Nigeria. God couldn’t have abandoned me. Perhaps he just wanted to tell me, I kept repeating to myself, that that wasn’t my place.

In Libya I decided to stop. No, I had never thought that it was the right place, but it had been on the move for months, I had crossed Nigeria, Niger and Algeria, I was exhausted and completely broke. I learned the trade of plasterer and did stucco work, I liked working as a decorator, I fell in love with a woman and we went and lived together. In Libya a foreigner can be almost happy, happy no. There was work, but there was nothing else for us, the Arabs call us Africans, as if they weren’t Arabs too. I didn’t care, all I was worried about was putting together a bit of money in order to go away and start again somewhere else. [twitter_share]You never know when it’s going to be the last day, in the morning you go out and when you return in the evening there is just a crater and rubble and dust.[/twitter_share]

They say it was a missile but who launched it and why I have never found out.

When the war broke out, even the Africans became the enemy: the rebels accused us of being Gaddafi’s militiamen, the royalists of fighting with the rebels. Anyone we encountered would have good reasons to kill us, so we escaped again, always at night. During the crossing I didn’t think of anything, all I kept repeating to myself was that Libya was not my place. From Tripoli to Lampedusa it was a quiet crossing, and after a night at sea, with the first light of day we landed on the island. I remember the Red Cross people and lots of people running up and down the jetty.

Italy is not what I imagined it to be, there’s no work and at times they look at you on the bus as if you were not welcome. But I think that perhaps this is my place, that there must be a sense to all this, that perhaps I am here for my brothers, for our rights. Perhaps I’m also here to tell my story, so that it isn’t forgotten.

Samuel P. arrived in Italy in 2011. When the North Africa emergency programme finished he found himself in the street again and without a home, despite the fact that he had regular refugee status. He and another hundred or so refugees in the city of Turin have occupied the EX MOI buildings where he lives at present.

sws_zerit

I thought ‘it would be terrible for my mother to lose two sons in the same night’, and I left my brother behind.

It was the Italians that built my town, Elabaned, in Eritrea, where I was born 28 years ago. Just in case you’ve forgotten, we were your colony. I’m the first migrant in my family and I’m a marine biologist. I used to spend my days talking with fish, sectioning algae, studying the routes of the shoals of fish, analysing microorganisms in the sea. Day after day I would collect secrets from the waves as the wind played on them. But what there was beyond the sea was what I didn’t know yet, and what I didn’t ask. That was the last mystery to be revealed. To do that, there was no alternative.

I thought I knew the sea and I would observe it from above, from the land. I had to do it for my country when I did my military service, which starts when you are 18 and ends when you are in the grave. My wages were zero, sometimes less than zero. There was no alternative to that, either.

So I started walking. I was lucky because I knew in what direction to go. After 3 days of dust and sun, without stopping, I arrived in the Sudan.  My brother Samuel, who was a mechanic, lived there. Twenty-five years spent hoping. 1,600  dollars a head is the price of hope as far as Tripoli, Libya, and my brother and I made it there. Locked up in a house with another 500 Eritreans, surrounded by men with rifles, we waited. Yes, it was terrible. But I put up with it, because there was no other alternative.

There was the sea in the town, but I didn’t see it. I remained there for one month without even going out to look for it. All 500 of us left the house together: another $1,600, the cost of a second hope on board a fishing vessel. After hours spent in the sea, two boats appeared out of the night. One of them circled around us at a distance of twenty metres or so. And all 500 of us, in the black darkness of the night, started to smile through our clenched teeth. It was as if the darkness had already ended because we weren’t afraid any longer. We’re safe, we shouted. They’re going to come back and pick us up, I said to Samuel. I’ll be able to watch the sea again from the land, I thought. After more than an hour we realized that no one was going to come and save us.

One mile from the coast of Lampedusa we set fire to a blanket to attract attention. It was like lighting a candle in a tomb. A light in the middle of nothing. But there was no other alternative. [twitter_share]The blanket caught fire and we got scared. We all rushed to one side and the boat capsized. Those of us who were still alive began to swim. There’s no point crying water in water. [/twitter_share]

After swimming for three hours I turned and saw that my brother had fallen behind. He said: “Go on, Zerit! Get to land. Call home”. He said: “Bye Zerit”. And I was on the point of fainting in the sea, I couldn’t swim for the two of us, I thought ‘it would be terrible for my mother to lose two sons in the same night – and I left my brother behind. I called: “Bye Samuel”. I, Zerit, am alive because my brother is dead. My last goodbye I said to him at the camp when they showed me a photograph of a body swollen with water. I who spent my life studying the sea, I’ve explored the seabed and recognized the voices of the seashells – did not recognise my own brother. So he died a second death. The day of the funeral I couldn’t wait for the result of the DNA test that would tell me: ”Yes, that’s your brother Samuel”.

Now those people from television are asking me if I’m sad, and if looking at the sea makes me sadder. But it’s you that have got to give me an answer. Tell me why I wasn’t at my brother’s funeral. It was like leaving him in the water a second time. So I abandoned him for a third time. At the refugee camp on the day of the funeral, to which we – brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers – were not invited, it took us a minute to decide and all come together.

When we realized that we couldn’t go to Agrigento, that there would be strangers who would be throwing flowers on shiny coffins of expensive wood, while there were still bodies trapped in the rotten wood of the boat, we understood that they were dying for a second time. We also forced the gates behind which they wanted to keep us locked up that day, we prayed 4 times towards the south, between our fingers we held wild flowers that grew around the camp, and when it came to the hour of the tragedy we all went down to the sea. It was the sea that I asked about Samuel. Hoping that it will reveal this last secret, or that at least his soul may return that day.

I don’t look at the sea any longer. I’ll go anywhere as long as it’s as far away as possible from this island, and Italy. I don’t want to live in a land where my brother was left to fall asleep exhausted among the waves. Don’t call us migrant victims; we are just survivors. I’m alive because my brother is dead. That’s the truth of it, and you haven’t said it yet out loud. Perhaps the Italians want to know, but even if they don’t, they have to hear it all the same. There are 157 stories like this in the camp. You should get to know them all.

Zerit was born in Eritrea 28 years ago. After graduating in marine science he decided to join his brother Samuel in Sudan, with him continue the journey towards Libia, and from Tripoli reach the Italian coast. Samuel died in the sea October, 3rd when he was about one hour away from the coast. Zerit arrived in Lampedusa.

sws_kaou

I didn’t know that giving my fingerprints would have been my sentence

My name is Kaou and I come from Mali. I arrived at Lampedusa from Tripoli in 2011 because I had no other choice. When war broke out I wanted to head for Algeria and return to my country, but Tripoli was under siege and you could neither get out nor in. One day a friend told me that he had decided to go across the sea to Italy and I went with him. I arrived at Lampedusa in May and they put me into the camp, they didn’t treat me badly, but there were a lot of us in there, too many. The days went by and more and more new refugees arrived and no one told you what was happening or how long we were going to remain there. I knew that we had rights in Europe, and that they could issue us with a document. [twitter_share]What I didn’t know while they were taking my fingerprints was that I would never be able to leave Italy, that they would move me from one camp to another, and that in the end I would find myself in the street.[/twitter_share]

The reception centres are always hidden, a long way away from people. I wanted to get to know Italians and their way of life, but it seems as though we were supposed to have a life apart from anyone else. Before there were many things I didn’t know, and I think that many Italians still don’t know them. When I was in the Settimo Torinese camp, they gave the Red Cross 42 euro a day for every refugee and when the cold weather came we couldn’t even have a jacket. To get mine I had to work for a week. My boss was a Moroccan, I went out in the morning with a trolley and collected plastic from the rubbish skips, from 5 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. For a week of work he paid you 40 to 50 euro and with that money I bought myself a jacket at the market at Porta Palazzo. The end of the North Africa emergency wasn’t the end of our problems, it was only the end of the money. “The camp is shutting down, you are all out in a week”. It was February and it was still cold, so I began to sleep in stations and dormitories, then I decided to escape to France to find a job and somewhere permanent to sleep. I have documents in Italy, I have international protection, instead in France I was a sans papiers. I worked as a painter, without paying taxes, for a few month, then I had to come back. “Your fingerprints are in Italy”, they tell you and take you back to Ventimiglia. Anyway in Libya it’s very different. There foreigners have no rights, nor papers. You can find work, the police pretend they don’t see you; but if a Libyan does something to you, it’s you that is arrested because being foreigners is the greatest crime. It Italy they say that we are all equal and we have many rights, but most of the time they are not respected, so sometimes it’s the same.

Kaou is 25 and comes from Mali. He came to Lampedusa in May 2011 and can’t return to his country because while he was in Italy Mali was torn by a bloody civil war. He lives at the moment in Turin with no fixed abode.

A life as an invisible

My name is Hassan and I live at the Lingotto, even if everyone calls it EX MOI here, the place where the foreigners live. Perhaps nobody is interested to know how they live but I am one of them and so I want to tell you about it. It’s hard living here, day after day, without work, without heating, without hot water. We’re not hiding here, we came from the sea, to Lampedusa, to Pozzallo; we all have documents and this makes our situation even more absurd, and us more and more tired of it. I have often thought of going to another country, where you can live better, but we have left our fingerprints here and we’ve had to learn about the Dublin Convention and understand that we can’t leave Italy. The Convention kills and I ask myself how Europe can have a law that kills foreigners like us a little at a time, we are just poor people, we haven’t been able to live in our countries because of war and famine. How could we know that we would find the same on the other side of the Mediterranean. [twitter_share]At times when you are walking along you see that people have crossed  the road to the other side because they have just seen you, perhaps they are scared of the colour of our skins or we remind them of someone who robbed them once.[/twitter_share]

Among us there are good people and bad people and that’s the same among Italians too, but I don’t cross the road. This has no sense. Before Italy I had never seen anything like it. You feel like stopping and shouting: “ Come over here! I want to tell you about us!”, but perhaps they would hurry on even faster and so you don’t say anything and you think that it wasn’t the right time to say it anyway. I’ve decided that I want to write, to tell our story to everyone, even to us. Perhaps through poetry, or a theatrical work. I’m not going to write to become famous, my name is of no importance, I want everyone to forget it and remember only what I write and that it was written by one of us. I hope that many people who live like me will want to do the same. The truth about us is unknown, invisible, and many people don’t even ask themselves “why is that person grubbing around in the rubbish or collecting things that other people are not interested in any more?”. The truth about us is something that hurts, and that’s why nobody wants to know but we can’t wait any longer, we must find the best moment to tell it. Hassan is a Somali. He arrived at Lampedusa from Tripoli in 2008 and has lived in Turin since 2010. His dream today is to become a writer. He is currently working on theatrical monologues on the subject of welcome and integration.

sws_norvegia

I’m about to become a free man

I migrated in October 2013. On the sea you die like rats, like under the bombs. Even if it is your sea, we’re the ones who drank it, with our lungs. The first Europe I saw from Africa was Lampedusa. The bad days are over now: no more false welcomes, the running away, the scorn, the hunger. My spirit is full of a boat smashed by the waves, and with my spirits so low I have continued on my journey. I left the island, they let me get away, before they took my fingerprints which would have condemned me to remain for ever in Italy. Fingerprints are like handcuffs. You don’t know it, but you are in a cell. I’m a person who if he bows his back, it is only to pick fruit. For the rest, I am like all of us in my nation: even under the bombs we keep our backs straight. I caught a train from Sicily for Milan. From Milan I kept heading further north. It was Europe I wanted, and now I have it. I arrived with another hundred in Norway. Here the world doesn’t need to wait for tomorrow to have a mixed skin. Here the years to come are no longer a hypothesis for me. I have a right to political asylum here. I am about to become a free man. This photograph was taken and sent by a migrant who arrived at Lampedusa in October, 2013, and who is now in Scandinavia.

Migrants’ wishes for 2014

What do migrants wish for 2014? Freedom, a bike, a warm house and a good job, internet to talk with their families. Get married. These are all very simple wishes, the same wishes that we have as well. They have been collected by Fabrica and are presented in this video. These wishes also decorate a Christmas tree installed in Venice by Fabrica.

They deny me the right to do a good deed

Just talking about it makes me feel bad, really bad.
These things can’t leave you indifferent, and you feel bad about it because you have the possibility of giving them somewhere to sleep, but the institutions won’t allow you to.
I’m a citizen of Lampedusa, my name is Lillo Maggiore, my job is … I’m an administrative assistant at the Luigi Pirandello school in Lampedusa. I have a family, made up of me obviously, my wife and two daughters. And I lived through everything, I could say, in 2011. 2011 which I could say, I repeat, changed me and my family, changed our lives: my life because I realised for the first time the reality of poverty, the lack of freedom, living terrible hardships, because, I repeat, these people were living outside, out in the open, in the cold, and from that moment I decided to do something to help them.
I worked in the morning, in the afternoons, and in the evening, above all at night, I dedicated my time to them. I dedicated myself to them, in what sense? Handing out blankets, bringing them hot drinks, getting them thick jackets, shoes … a bit of everything that could help them.
There’s just one thing that I get mad about, the institutions that abstain from… let me say it, deny me the right to do a good deed. I applied for provisional custody of a child, I applied to the social services of the Lampedusa municipality, about a month ago. But nothing, until today, nothing.
Above all, when the weather is bad, and you see them going along the roads, they haven’t got a coat, sometimes not even a pair of shoes, but just a pair of slippers, or they haven’t got a telephone card to let their parents know that they are all right… and so what are you supposed to do? You imagine yourself in their place, you imagine, at least I’m the kind of person that imagines himself in their place immediately and you try to do something, but I can’t do what I would like to do, that is, I am able to help them a bit, but not as much as would be necessary… and this is frustrating, it makes you suffer, because if you start something you want to carry it through, not leave it half done. But they won’t let you … the children, especially the children who have to stay in the CIE together with the adults, it’s not right: children should stay with children, or in a family, which will act as a … to feel that family warmth: these kids do nothing but sleep outside.. Now what I say is this: if all the Lampedusan community does nothing but ask to receive them, to welcome them in their homes, why are we being denied this right to do this good deed?

This testimony was taken down by Marco Pavan/Fabrica.

Read the story Explore the map