Text The migrants

The Migrants

In July 2023, I visited Lampedusa, an island which is the southernmost part of Italy where thousands of rescued immigrants port every summer and serves as a holiday destination for thousands of tourists worldwide. I wanted a firsthand experience of Lampedusa, especially to explore the nexus between the separate worlds – the desperate migrants risking all and the fun-seeking tourists spending all for summer on this pleasant island.

At the pier where migrants are first received, hundreds of migrants from several African and Asian countries are loaded onto buses and taken away. However, just outside this designated pier are natives of Lampedusa with their fishing boats living their daily lives, and less than a 7-minute walk is a beautiful beach where holiday tourists sunbathe, enjoy an exotic meal, or swim.

A 30-minute walk from this pier is the immigrant detention center where the loaded migrants are deposited. A cramped camp that houses all immigrants at once, including families with children and other minors. At the detention center, the migrants wait to be processed, unsure of their destinies.