Harraga: On the road, burning borders


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Giulio Piscitelli & Giulia Tornari 

Hardcover | 21 x 2 x 26.5 cm | 182 pp

Contrasto | 2017 | 9788869656477

Harraga is the term that illegally travelling, Arabic-speaking migrants use to define themselves. Here, Giulio Piscitelli’s photographs, and the texts that accompany them, document the various stages followed by the people who leave the Middle East or Northern Africa to reach the coasts of Italy, Calais or Bulgaria via Spain, Greece or the Balkans.

After the Arab Spring in early 2011, Giulio Piscitelli went to Tunisia to photograph the refugee camp of Choucha. There he met a smuggler and decided to join Tunisian migrants as they took to the sea in search of a decent life. His images document the long waits before departure (spent in apartments managed by local mafia gangs who profit from the smuggling of migrants), the boat ride, the arrival in Lampedusa. An arrival, though, that does not signal the end of the journey.

This reportage is the first to document what awaits the migrants on their arrival: the CIE (Identification and Expulsion Centres), the exploitation of workers in Rosarno, the Castelvolturno fields... Harraga is a testimony to the historical period we are going through, a visual archive that leaves an indelible mark in the mind and leads us to reflect on a phenomenon that has presented ever more tragic implications over the years


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