Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Senegal.::DJ Awadi::.Immigration

I just came across this slideshow I'd bookmarked about 2 years ago that accompanies Senegalese rapper DJ Awadi's "Sunugaal" (roughly translates from Wolof to "our canoe"). It still brings tears to my eyes. It is one of those occassions where words are meaningless - the images speak for themselves and they speak volumes. The lyrics from "Sunugaal" which was in response to the tragic deaths of young Senegalese (and other West African) men who risk their lives as they head out to the Spanish Canary Islands in simple, overcrowded wooden fishing boats are available on the same link in English, French and Spanish. An overview with statistics, migration routes, etc that links different African countries and the coveted Atlantic and Mediterranean islands that offer a door way to Europe is available here.

This heart-wrenching topic does not have the same level of media presence as it did before, I suspect partly because the Spanish government and EU went on a crackdown to put an end to this fatally risky arrival of Africans onto Spanish holidaymakers' shores who then become their problem. Sadly, some survivors have been known to be deported back to their countries and still give it another go. I would be interested to know if anyone has any news / information to share. The last I heard anything connected to this was last year when there was controversy around Spanish designer Antonio Miro's decision to use African immigrants as models on the catwalk, with canoes in the set, as a way of bringing this tragedy to the forefront of people's minds. Details here.

Also, in connection, a personal account entitled Kingsley's Crossing available in DVD and podcast documents a Cameroonian man's 6-month journey across Africa in search of a better life in Europe. You can buy Kingsley's Crossing here. (via Kamau)

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