That he has to meet again with equal numbers

of armed knights in Lipadusa
/ a small island is this that from the very sea
that surrounds it is surrounded

Ludovico Ariosto

One of the symbolic places of the Lampedusa portrayed in the stories of these years where the category of the ‘landing’ has ended up being, on the one hand, the only narration of a much more complex process and one which limits the history and identity of an island like Lampedusa to a single image on the other.

The pier, in the port of Lampedusa, is a concrete arm, like all piers, to shelter boats safely in the harbour. Today, however, it is so much more. It has become a symbol of all the lives saved by Lampedusa in recent years. Located in the area of the New Port near the Guitgia beach, it is the place where migrants who have just landed on the island are gathered to receive first aid and for first assistance. For years, health workers and law enforcement officers, as well as volunteers from associations and citizens of Lampedusa, have welcomed on that pier the people rescued at sea from the boats that rarely arrive directly on the island.

For thousands of people, in recent years, that pier has come to represent salvation, dry land, the sigh of finding themselves alive, after days at sea, often without water and food, perhaps under the scorching sun or in the cold and stormy weather. Thanks to the efforts of the administration of Lampedusa, in recent years, the seabed around the pier has finally been reclaimed, where for years the boats towed to the harbour by rescuers were abandoned, once again putting the people of Lampedusa in front of the consequences of policies that limit to the islands the weight of global migrations, which if they were equally divided among the members of the European Union would reveal the absurdity of all the narratives of ‘invasions’ that does not exist, but that if they fall only on small communities generate problems.

The red lights that mark the landing place of the pier and the entrance to the port, today, are those of a whole world that, in the possibility of a normal life, becomes a border that for some is lethal.

The golden thermal blankets, with which migrants are heated after days at sea, have become a symbol, like the life jackets, which can be spotted walking along the pier, even when it is empty. One day they will be the symbols of a process of criminalization of the border that, perhaps, will be difficult to explain.

Podcast: History of Lampedusa - 11^ episode

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