27 October 2019

The Unbearable Weight of Indifference

Into the deafening silence that has accompanied the latest massacre at sea, we report the account of Angelo Piraneo, who was among those in Porto Empodocle waiting for the ship that brought the coffins of the dead from the last shipwreck.

Photo by Angelo Piraneo

“At 12:30 the ship Pietro Novelli docks at the pier of Porto Empodocle. In the cargo hold there is a truck with a refrigerated cell carrying lives lost, migrants drowned a few days ago in the sea of Lampedusa. There are 13 women and one child of 10 years who were seeking to escape hunger and war and reach safety. But they were betrayed by the sea – and by institutions, by Europe, as well. We are about 50 people waiting for them at the pier: military and civil authorities (the Prefect, Mayors of Agrigento and Porto Empodocle), priests, members of lay and religious associations, people of civil society.”

“We see the truck descend from the ferry and stop near us. The doors open and the first thing to reach us is the stench issuing from inside the truck, where the coffins are. These are then brought out and rested on the ground. A Christian prayer is recited and pitiful hands place flowers atop the coffins. Agrigento, Favara, Campobello di Licata, these are the places where the bodies will be buried.”

We would like to thank those who refuse to resign themselves to this policy of death, this inhumane policy that wreaks massacres and wars, that kills in the name of borders.

Photo by Angelo Piraneo

We want you to see these photos, and we want you to sense the stench of death, to enter the household in the attempt to wake us from this torpor into which we have fallen. It is a torpor that renders each of us accomplices and directly responsible for all of this.

Alberto Biondo

Borderline Sicilia

Translation: Olivia Taibi

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