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Harraga’s traces in Lampedusa

The island of Lampedusa, off the coast of Sicily, is one of the main entry points for migrants who leave the North African coasts in makeshift boats to try to find refuge in Europe. They are nicknamed "Harraga", "those who burn" (papers, borders, laws).

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the recent closing of ports decided by the Italian government has led to a significant increase in the number of migrants sent back to Libya. Between 21 and 28 June, 2,425 of them were intercepted during rescue operations at sea and then returned to the African continent. Between January and June 2018, the number of people who drowned in the Mediterranean on these clandestine roads passed the 1000 mark.

This series of still lifes is made from objects belonging to the Harraga, found on the beaches of Lampedusa or collected on the boats that land as best they can. Behind this project, the Askavusa association, created in 2009 and which maintains a strong link between art and solidarity in its action with migrants. Life jackets, photographs, teapots, bottles, letters...: these thin relics are carefully gathered, and put end-to-end they constitute a memorial in the form of a catalogue of these overlooked lives. The objects shot by Davide Monteleone are left without caption, a political choice for the association.

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