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The shelter of the slaves

2015-2018 Gioia Tauro, Southern Italy.

The evening of the 7 January 2010 on the street that links Rosarno to Gioia Tauro (Calabria Region), two unknown guys fired with an air gun on three African day labourers who were walking home after a day at work in the fields picking citrus fruit. This fact caused a revolt in Rosarno of the African migrants against the mafia and their exploitation in the countryside. The police tried to repress the revolt, but the day after 2000 migrants protested more violently, clashing with the police and assaulting stores and cars. That provoked the reaction of citizens who organised independent armed patrols with guns and clubs. Due to the critical situation, the Ministry of the Interior forced the transfer of all the migrants from the Plain of Gioia Tauro, who were left in big cities like Roma and Napoli, without house, without assistance, without documents, without future perspectives. Therefore, in absence of means of survival most of them went back to Gioia Tauro. There, they occupied some farmhouses which were demolished by the Prefecture of Rosarno in 2011. Only in January 2012, in the industrial area of San Ferdinando, a sterile environment with hardly any familiar reference point, the Ministry of the Interior created the tent city with 50 tents to host a total of 300 migrants.
My project witnesses this place, non-place between 2015 and 2018 where the tent city, was abandoned by organizations and government, populated by over 1000 people, it has been at the centre of the national news for fires, murders and evictions. While the migrants are in a limbo, waiting for the documents and a better place to live in, left alone by the Institutions.

Once Koobi said: "we are dead people alive".


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