martedì 17 giugno 2014


June 2014
This is a short newsletter to announce two things:
First, a 30-minute film I have just made for Channel 4’s ‘Dispatches’ will be shown on Tuesday 24th June at 11pm, on Channel 4.
It can also be viewed after that date on 4oD here.
The film tells the story of a migrant boat that capsized within sight of an Italian tourist beach, resulting in the drowning of 360 people.
It is the inside story of a terrible event and its aftermath — told through the testimony of the survivors.
Sea off Lampedusa
After fighting to stay afloat for hours in the water before rescue came, the traumatised survivors were held in a detention centre for months before finally escaping. I followed Fanus, an 18-year-old Eritrean, on her clandestine onward journey as she navigated the illegal immigration route out of Italy into Northern Europe.
Guardian Weekend cover
I wrote an article about the event, published as an 8-page feature in the Guardian Weekendmagazine in March.
Read online version here.
After leaving Eritrea, Fanus was kidnapped in the Sahara desert and held for three months. Her family were forced to pay $3,000 for her release. In Libya, she boarded rickety fishing boat packed with 550 people. It capsized and sank half a mile off the coast of Italy. She had never learnt to swim, but survived by doggy-paddling and holding on to floating corpses until morning came.
In Italy, a man accused of her kidnap was arrested and charged. Fanus was detained on the island of Lampedusa as a witness. Desperate to make it to Northern Europe, Fanus burnt her fingerprints off, and paid smugglers to help her continue her journey. I followed her until she arrived in the country of her dreams.
View a 2-minute trailer here.
The film came off the back of my Photoworks-sponsored residency in Rome, where I developed and researched a project focusing on migration across the Mediterranean. Info here.

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