Thinking collectively about birth, migration, and care at the gate of Europe
The EU Border Care team travelled to Lampedusa on October 7, and stayed until October 11 to engage with former research participants in the island, and discuss with them the findings of the research conducted there, but also in the project’s other Mediterranean sites.
Former research associate Chiara Quagliariello, who conducted the Lampedusa ethnographic fieldwork from September 2016 to February 2017, organized a meeting to present some of the main research findings. Healthcare professionals, activists, artists, and Lampedusa residents interested in the research attended the presentation and took part in the lively discussion that followed.
Research associates Cynthia Malakasis and Nina Sahraoui presented insights from their respective fieldworks in Athens, Greece and Melilla, Spain. The presentations triggered a conversation about differences and similarities in migrants’ and health-care workers’ experiences in these sites as compared to the lived experiences described by Lampedusa participants present in the meeting.
Paola Leonardi, photographer and external collaborator of EU Border Care, met with the persons she had photographed during her mission to Lampedusa in November 2016, and brought them the printed photographs, a kind and thoughtful surprise for which they thanked her. Paola also organized a workshop at a local high school to teach a group of around 20 teenagers some techniques of photography.
The EU Border Care would like to thank all the persons met in Lampedusa for their warm welcome and the time spent together on the island!
 The phrase “gate of Europe” is inspired by the Porta d’ Europa, a gate gazing out at sea and built to symbolize Lampedusa’s location as the place where migrants coming from the African shores first set foot on European soil. The cultural, socio-structural, legal, and administrative intricacies bestowed on the island formed one of EU Border Care’s main research objectives and extend – in diverse forms – to the rest of our research sites.