Mediterranean south bank

So i have written about Europe being the mediterranean northern bank on this blog before. When i flew to South Africa last week i actually had a chance to have a look at the Mediterranean south bank for the first time: Tripoli as seen from the window of LH572 en route to Johannesburg.…

2007 most deadly year yet

So 2007 is coming to an end and it is time to draw up the balance. when it comes to migrants who have died trying to reach Europe, 2007 has been an exceptional bad year even though the powers that be seem to think otherwise. Back in august the IHT quoted spanish and italian officials that proudly proclaimed that the number of arrivals at their shores had been down from the numbers for the same period in 2007: The deadly flow of flimsy boats crammed with migrants heading north across the Mediterr…

The myth of invasion

Just finished reading a fairly intresting reserach paper by Hein de Haas of the International Migration Institute in Oxford that deals with the ‘The myth of invasion – Irregular migration from West Africa to the Maghreb and the European Union‘. In the paper de Haas attempts to show that immigration to Europe by western African migrants crossing the Mediteranian or Atlantic is fairly small both when compared to migration of western africans to North African Countries and compared to other ways of…

Kaafila (liquid Europe and solid sea revisited)

So over the last three weeks i have been watching ‘kaafila‘ which bills itself as a movie based on the ‘global issue of illegal migration’. It took me 3 weeks to watch because (a) it is a Bollywood movie (and thus runs for three plus hours) and (b) because it is so incredibly bad that i could not muster the courage to watch bits that were longer than 15 minutes. Matter of fact it is so bad that that the songs (those ridiculous dancing/singing scenes that are required to interrupt Bollywood produ…

Drowning season (revisited)

Apparently someone at the BBC has tracked down some of the migrants who got rescued after hanging on to a tuna fishing net for three days in the Mediterranean back in may. They will be featured in the documentary ‘Destination Europe‘ which airs tonight at 2030 on BBC one. There is another article based on interviews with five of the migrants available on the guardian website.…

Tunisian sailors arrested for saving illegal immigrants

So the Italians and the Spanish are claiming that this year there are much less immigrants trying to enter Europe via their shores, islands and outposts on the african mainland than last year. while this may be true this does neither mean that less people are dying on the Atlantic or in the Mediterranean while trying to get to Europe nor is it something that these governments should be particularly proud of. Looks like the italian authorities have just managed find themselves another way of ‘pro…

Europe == mediterranean northern bank

For some reason have kept a google news alert for this article in my inbox over the last week: 18 clandestine migrants were saved from a shipwreck, by Algeria II passenger-ship. A well-informed source told El Khabar that the clandestine migrants were attempting to reach the Mediterranean northern bank. They were handed over Tuesday to Oran port coast guard services. Algeria II passenger-ship discovered, during its Oran-Marseille trip last Sunday, 8 people on the point to sink as their boats coul…

Between a rock and a hard place

The ECF has put the report online which i wrote about the euro Mediterranean reflection group meting in Amman in june (yes the one that killed my last macbook). It is called between ‘a rock and a hard place’ and deals with the issues of artistic practice and international collaboration in the Middle East. Get the pdf from the ECF website (More on the activities of the Mediterranean reflection group of the ECF can be found here).…

Drowning season...

Summer is approaching and that means a seasonal increase in African migrants who try to reach Lampedusa, Sicily or Malta from the coasts of Libya and Tunisia. As in the last couple of years lots of them manage to reach these island outposts that have come to be the most accessible edges of the European Union and lots of them don’t. An sometimes people are deliberately left hanging in between these two options for a while: Over the weekend 27 migrants spent a day at sea holding on to buoys around…

Mapping dead migrants

Since December 2002 i have been collecting press reports about migrants who have died trying to reach Europe for the noborder website. At the time of writing this the list has grown to 179 incidents with a total of 2009 reported fatalities and an even higher number of people missing who most likely have died as well. It is also safe to assume that the majority of such cases never gets reported in the press at all (according to spanish immigration officials about 6000 African migrants have died o…