An article by Stefano Lotumolo on the arrival of ALAN KURDI in Olbia
We learn about the news of ALAN KURDI’s landing from Facebook on Thursday evening (24/09/2020). We read many racist comments under the Olbia.it post reporting the news.
I look at my girlfriend and say, “Okay, we can’t miss it.“
We wake up at 5:30 a.m., ALAN KURDI’s arrival is scheduled for 6:00 a.m. The weather is bad, which is the reason why ALAN KURDI is not continuing its course to Marseille and is allowed to dock in Olbia.
Around 9 o’clock a miserable bunch of Lega supporters and neo fascists arrives.
The ALAN KURDI docks at 10:00 am.
“Take them to your home” they are yelling at us, with their arrogant and intolerant attitude.
They do their show for the ritual photos; Showing off is the only thing that matters to them.
They want to protect the Italian borders from 125 people seeking protection who are fleeing from war, fished out by ALAN KURDI’s angels in the Mediterranean Sea in 3 different rescue operations.
Almost half of the migrants are minors.
The youngest is 5 months old.
We greet the frightened men and women and try to understand what is going to happen.
The setting up of the tents starts at around 12 o’clock.
Why couldn’t it be done earlier? We were there from 6:00 am in the morning.
The wind is strong, sometimes it turns into a storm and people are forced to stay on the ship.
They start disembarking at around 6:00 pm, there are women sitting on the ground with their children.
It is cold.
Most of them are barefoot.
They look at us, we look at them. I feel guilty. Awfully guilty.
I wish I were on that ship; I would like to tell them that everything will be all right and that in a little while, finally everything will be over.
But unfortunately, that is not the case.
For the night, a reception center is set up outside the industrial port, they would stay there.
We go back on Saturday to have news and we manage to interview the Chief Officer Josh, who welcomes us with “open arms” from behind a railing.
“NO ONE PUTS THEIR CHILDREN IN A BOAT UNLESS THE WATER IS SAFER THAN THE LAND”.
From the poem Homeby Warsan Shire, a young Kenyan writer and poetess.
Today no one cares about the news anymore.
But how much do we really care about these people?
Or do they only make the news one day and disappear the next day?
“But how much do we really care about these people?”
Many of them are unaccompanied minors, children who arrive in an unknown land without their parents after experiencing no one knows what tragedies.
“Dear haters, look who you have poured your hatred on.”
Dear haters, look who you have poured your hatred on.
The most vulnerable people of this unjust world.
On Sunday evening we manage to bring pizzas to the whole crew.
A great honor for us.
Being able to document the landing just before my next experience was a great sign. I am about to begin a silent walk that will take me from Assisi to Riace where I will meet Domenico Lucano.
Domenico, the former mayor of Riace, has created a model of integration for migrants that has been recognized all over the world.
It is now up to Europe to find solutions, including for hotspots in Greece. We need precise rules.
We are all the same, there are no first or second-class human beings.
Love generates Love.
Love generates positive feelings.
Love generates life.
Have a good life, everyone.
The Author: Stefano Lotumolo
With a diploma in accounting, he worked as a floriculturist in the family business until the age of 28. In 2015 he left his safe harbor to start travelling, getting to know himself and the world.
In June 2017 he embarked on his first photographic journey, three months backpacking in Africa. From there, his life changed completely. Through photography he wants people to see human beings the way he sees them through his eyes, and he perceives them with his heart.
He wants to transmit the same love and respect he has for life.
Through photography Stefano wants to be a voice for the voiceless, tell stories of real life and the various vicissitudes of the people he shares his life experiences with.
Photos in this article: © Stefano Lotumolo