Asylum, seeking refuge.
This is a story of a boy, who, out of necessity or choice, is compelled to fight a 'system' and to pay the consequences: forced escape.
He leaves family, home, girlfriend or often a wife and children, sometimes a good job and a bit of money. He leaves everything, otherwise they'll kill him. He's an Iraqi, Eritrean, Nigerian. A Somali, Afghan or Kurd.
They have told him that he believes in the wrong god.That the land, where his people have always lived, does not belong to him.They have ordered him to kill for a cause, whatever it might be.
So he escapes.
Convinced that his life is worth more. Knowing that he is young, that he can, and wants, to do anything: any kind of work, even the most humble, to have another chance, a new future, no matter where. He comes to Italy to forget.
The only thing he's looking for is a new 'system', to try and simply be what he is, just a boy.
I started to be interested in the issue of political refugees in May 2009 when the italian government of Berlusconi ratified the agreement with Libya of Gaddafi to control the flow of migrants, and the consequent forced repatriations that violate the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
I photographed refugees in Italy for more than one year, I met asylum seekers living on the streets, in shelters, in squatted buildings of the suburbs. I followed them when they arrived in Lampedusa port, and after, at the beginning of the war in Libya, I met them in the refugee camps on the border with Tunisia.
On the 23 February of 2012, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that, "sending migrants back to Libya, Italy had violated the European Convention on Human Rights and in particular the principle of non-refoulement which prohibits to reject migrants to countries where they may be persecuted or subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment."
At present, there isn't clear information about the italian-libyan new policies to control the flow. More than 18,500 people since 1988*, have died along the european borders, and the huge flow of migrants continues everyday.
*Source: Fortress Europe, http://fortresseurope.blogspot.it/2006/01/press-review.html
To license this work for editorial, creative, or other uses, click on the OZMO logo above.
This will take you to the Ozmo website where you can review the cost and license for the photographs in this exhibit.
You will need to create an account with both Amazon payments and with the Ozmo website as described on the Ozmo website.
CIR, Italian Council for Refugees
MEDU, Doctors for human rights
Mob: +39 338 544 7990
skype: effe.m, Roma
Francesca Mancini made her debut as a professional photographer when she was 24, shooting her first international reportages on war refugees in the Balkans and southern Italy, and in Kosovo immediately after the war, and on the effects of pollution on the environment in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
After studying photography for three years in Rome, she worked for the Italian press and published her photos in leading daily newspapers.
From 2007 to 2008 she worked as a freelance between Kosovo and Serbia, documenting the social and political changes in the region and the difficulties linked to Kosovo’s independence.
From 2009 to 2010 she realized, a project on political asylum seekers in collaboration with the Italian Council for Refugees.
Her works have netted awards in the MILK Photo Contest and from Photo Magazine, and she has won the Baldoni Prize, the Atri Reportage Prize, the Honoray Mention of Anthropographia Award for Human Rights, the Silver Medal and Honorary Mention of Prix de la Photographie.
She has exhibited at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, at the Vanderbilt Hall in New York and the Noorderlicht Gallery of Amsterdam.
Mancini’s photos have been published in, among others, Le Monde Magazine, The Independent, Newsweek Japan, Burn, Epsilon, Internazionale, IL, L’Espresso, Panorama,Vanity Fair, Ventiquattro.