FINAL PROGRAMME: Tracing Fortress Europe

Porto Empedocle, SicilyFrom 2 to 12 September, we traced “Fortress Europe” in Italy, making our way from the centre in Rome via Bari and Sicily to its outer gate, Lampedusa. In talks with a wide variety of different interlocutors, we collected a multitude of voices from the border, reflecting the complexities of Migration at Europe’s External Border. Over the next few weeks, these voices will inform a series of blog posts dealing with our findings, impressions and experiences.

In Rome, the team spoke with officials from the Ministry of the Interior and German Embassy, representaives from the Italian Red Cross and the Italian Jesuit Service Centro Astalli, and met refugees living at the occupied Palazzo Salem. In Bari, we visited the asylum seeker reception centre (CARA) of Bari-Palese, spoke with representatives from the Prefecture and the lawyers from Class Action Procedimentale, visited the port and met with refugees living at two squats, the former high school Socrate and the former convent Santa Chiara. In Sicily, we spoke with the Coast Guard of Catania and Porto Empedocle, the Prefect of Agrigento and representatives of the NGO Borderline Europe and visited the port of Pozzallo. And finally, in Lampedusa, with met the mayor and the priest, spoke with the Coast Guard and the Navy, and visited the cemetery as well as the boat cemetery and Museum Porto M run by the Association Askavusa.

For more details, refer to the final programme, and look out for further posts over the next few weeks.