2 January 2018: New Year Note

 

Hola Ciao Hello 2018
 

Happy New Year! 

2017 was the year Migrants of the Mediterranean (MotM) came to life, and may 2018 be the year it sees further connections of human compassion, moments of peace, and encounters with others that make life immeasurably enriched.

If anything has become clear over the past year it is a matured belief that from small moments can huge positive impressions be made. I find this directly in the continued conversations and friendships that have grown from the initial meetings I’ve had with migrants in Lampedusa.

Over the past seven months MotM has traveled across mainland Italy––to Bergamo and Milan, Rome, Naples and other cities, to reconnect with migrants as they face the first wave of real life in a new country. It is fraught with cultural clashes, fledgling grasps of language, racial discrimination, and is all underlined by the constant unknown of when and if political asylum documentation will be granted.

Yet, as complex and difficult as the issues that plague Italy’s newest inhabitants are, most respond with overwhelming positivity. All remain grateful to Italy for taking them in, caring for them, and as one rather poignantly stated, for “saving my life.” 

Italy has done this amidst incredible economic and political turmoil. The mood across the country remains insecure. That also means there is a space for the country to institute a higher kind of creative thinking that can urge it toward a future that may leverage this newfound otherness as its foundation to flourish.

Just as thousands of migrants have crossed its border––that space colored with the frenzied sense of possibility––so too does the country find itself on the brink.

As MotM begins the year it will share its stories of reunion. In the coming weeks and months you will find short followup profiles on how life has continued for select people after leaving Lampedusa. The aim is to connect you with each person anew, and hopefully, to use these stories as a resource of understanding identity more broadly. From this, may sparks of insight on how to globally integrate be struck.

MotM is also pleased to announce that select profiles are now available to read in Spanish. Translation work has been generously donated by photographer and activist, and friend of MotM, Tatiana Diniz, based in Barcelona, Spain.

Entonces, conoce a MotM en español! Lee todas las entrevistas aquí. 

More will be announced as they become available, including in additional languages. 

Happy new year once again.