Barca mba Barzaak ...

… seems to mean ‘Barcelona or the afterlife’ and according to the Guardian Unlimited this is the phrase west African migrants say before they board those small fishing boats on the Senegalese coast that attempt to reach the Spanish Canary Islands some 800 nautical miles away.

The guardian article deals with how these often deadly emigration attempts of young people from Senegal are represented in local rap songs. it focusses on DJ Awadi the person behind the recent hit Sunugaal (‘Our boat’) which seems to combine outrage about the Senegalese governments failure to provide jobs for the majority of young people in the country with warnings about the perils of emigrating to Spain and the rest of the EU.

On the website the song is accompanied by a flash slideshow (click here if the link above does not work). the slideshow contains 51 pictures of exhausted, dead or otherwise sufferening black migrants on small boats, in the desert of in camps. pretty discouraging stuff in any case, and probably one of the more effective means to discourage someone from attempting to leave for Europe in a boat or through the desert.

This and the fact that the quality of the pictures available to the makers of the animation (these are not your average google image search results) makes me wonder if the song/slidshow has not been produced with the help of a European government or secret service or of the EU’s external border security agency Frontex (ok, the last option is extremely unlikely, given that those Frontex people have not even managed to get up their own website in more than a year). Guess this would be a far more effective way of spending money to deter migrants than building fences or flying people back in deportation class. Of course it would be even more effective to just let them in and not force them to take more and more deadly routes…

Ironically when you google ‘Barca mba Barzaak’ you get a paid search result for the MBA programme of the Barcelona Management Institute …

… and upon clicking on the link, the website greets you with the image of a happy young african MBA student. Barca mba Barzaak indeed!

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