Listen: The Abandoned – Life for Migrants in Sicily After the Cameras Leave
I recently completed a radio documentary for the BBC World Service: “The Abandoned” as part of their new “World Stories” initiative. You can listen to it here.
Social media was instrumental in helping me find this story. Last year in the New York Times, I read about a similar community of squatters in Rome, “The Salaam Palace.” I happened to be attending a wedding in Palermo in October 2014 and thought I’d see if there was a similar community there. I found Centro Sociale Ex Karcere online and tweeted them. They connected me to Emiliano Spera who then introduced me to residents at Via Oberdan. The building was only two blocks from where I was staying! Prendocasa also has a Facebook page that has helped keep me up to date on what the residents are up to… as well as connecting to them via mobile apps like Viber.
Special thanks: The story wouldn’t have been possible without the invaluable support and assistance of Zoe Sullivan, Loris Guzzetta, Ann Hepperman, Anna Fileccia, Enzo Guzzetta, Bianca Guzzetta, Salvo Ruvolo, Antonio “Frillo” Zito, Emiliano Spera, Samrawit Gebrihet , Vittorio Pitrelli, Centro Sociale Ex Karcere, members of Prendocasa, Jesuit Refugee Service (Oscar Spooner, Riccardo Campochiaro and Ketta), Sergio Calabrese, Neil Trevithick, Nebiyu Aklilu, Fereiewi Ferhawet, Estub Dinak Amanuel “Mimi”, “Yeshi”, Fulvio Vassalo, and most importantly, Wubelem Aklilu, or “Beauty.”
Let me know what you thought of the story by leaving a comment below.