With The Olive Harvest Season Over, West African Migrants Struggle To Survive In Sicily

Farm worker wash himself before go to sleep. February 2018

 

Documentary and Portrait Photographer Mariusz Smiejek is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography.  From the project ‘Dream Slaves’.  To see Mariusz’s body of work, click on any image.

 

Morning cafe in abandoned house, made by jobless Gambian who suffer from deep depression after several weeks without job. May 2018

 

Temporary mosque in the informal camp. In March 2018, local authorities came and demolished informal camp, force all people to leave their only shelter. February 2018

 

Dozens of farmers came to pick up migrants to work. Every morning they are waiting in front of informal camp. October 2018

 

One of the camp’s tenant from Gambia, before going to look for a job. Every day morning, hundreds of people go to the streets and waiting for the farmers. February 2018

 

Dinner preparation in one of the abandoned house for several Gambians and Senegalese. April 2018

 

The olive season in Sicily ended in December, during the harvesting season, between end of September and November, around 1500-2000 people mostly from Western Africa, live in the informal camp for farm workers. But out off season, Campobello di Mara camp was a permanent home for dozens of people who live here for a few years. They are mainly homeless asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, they work time to time on farms nearby.

At the beginning of 2018, after olive and mandarins season has ended, local authorities appear to destroy tents and throw their residents out of the camp no alternatives were offered to them. Since the camp was destroyed, all the people, farm workers have to live in abandoned houses and factories around the village without water, electricity, bathroom and toilets.

 

One of dozens of abandoned houses around Campobello di Mazara. In some houses, several people live without water and electricity. April 2018

 

Bathroom on front of abandoned house for people who work on the farms. May 2018

 

Group of jobless people from Gambia and Senegal waiting for their phone to be charged. December 2017

 

Making warm water for shower and clothes washing, it may takes a few hours. December 2017

 

Abandoned factory, house for dozens of people from Gambia and Senegal. There is no water and electricity and closest shop is a few kilometers away. May 2018

 

New informal camp set up this October. Before olive season starts, it was place to live for around 500-600 people. October 2018

 

All images & text © Mariusz Smiejek

 

 

See also:

No Surrender

By Mariusz Smiejek

 

 

 

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