Because it is there. It is happening. It is epochal. And we pretend not to see it. We pretend to stop it with a finger, like it was a drop from the sink.
Because the narration of migration is flawed by politics. Short term politics. Election politics. It is not made to try and understand.
Stories about migration rise compassion. Compassion is good, but it is an easy feeling. I can feel compassion, but then do nothing.
I want to go a step further and try to rise curiosity. Push people to ask questions and read. To try and understand.
Because understanding is the first step.
Ideas become actions and laws when the are interiorized by people.
My trip began in 2009 in Lampedusa, where I shot my first documentary on the subject, for Mtv News in the series "True Life".
From there I never stopped. A long ride across DR Congo, Uganda, Niger, Nigeria, South Sudan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Afghanistan.
In December 2019 I arrived in Lesvos and visited Moria, the infamous refugee camp. First step into Europe for people coming mainly from Syria and Afghanistan.
I went there because I had read about children and teenagers attempting or committing suicide because of the hard life conditions in the camp and the long time of asylum requests exams.
I soon found out it was all true.
I don't know what happened to this boy. I have been in contact with one of the others that I spoke to but he had not seen him anymore.
This boy though, sent me videos of demonstrations outside the camp.
A picture of his head after he had been attacked by one of those unidentified squads.
Videos and pictures of fires that from time to time burned tents, and where sometime somebody would die.
One of the pictures shows the burned body of a young boy. I'm not showing it because I cannot guarantee its authenticity. He just sent it to me over Facebook. And I wouldn't show it because it is horrible. When I saw it I felt sick. For real. I felt nausea and I had to close it. it was too hard.
After visiting Moria I decided to follow the route to Italy, my country.
One of the ways people tries to arrive in Italy is by hiding in, or under a truck trying to board on a ferry in the port of Patra. So I went there.
A few months later I received a whatsapp message from Monir. He was in Italy, in Ventimiglia.
So I went to see him
He was thinner and looked very tired. I took him for a meal. He ordered a cup of tea, cookies and a sandwich.
I left him in the Roja river, with another Afghan boy who I also met in Patra but didn't want to be photographed, and a group of people from Bangladesh.
A few days later he wrote me that he was in France. He didn't tell me how he got there. but he was safe and directed to Paris.
Another way that people use to enter Italy from Greece is the so called Balkan Route. This means traveling on foot, or by any mean, from Greece to Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia.
Italy is not very often their final destination, from what I saw
This way of seeing it is actually a distortion of reality.
Greece is in the EU. Croatia and Slovenia are in the EU.
By international law, Afghans and Syrians should ask for Political Asylum as soon as they enter the EU. But they don't. They prefer to arrive deeper in Europe and ask for it there.
I heard so many stories from migrants, and managed to publish many of them on major media in Italy, tv stories, news stories, pictures, articles.
Maybe some of the people who read them, saw the pictures, decided to read more, and ignore less these victims of our times.