Selected Works

Nonfiction
A look at life in little-known mountain towns of the Sicilian hinterlands.
A true account of the last years of an ancient Sicilian giant bluefin tuna trap.






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Out of Palermo

Letizia Battaglia interview in Italian

February 16, 2017

Tags: Franco Maresco, interviews, Letizia Battaglia, palermo, hope?, doubt?, nostalgia, mafia, blood, streets

Palermo director Franco Maresco interviews Letizia Battaglia, photojournalist who took the most iconic photos of the Mafia wars in Palermo during the 80s.


The refugee passport

February 8, 2017

Tags: refugee, passport, old idea, nansen

From an Atlas Obscura story by Cara Giaimo:

"The current refugee crisis is the largest the world has ever seen—but it’s far from unprecedented. Back in the 1920s, civil war in Russia and genocide in the Ottoman Empire left millions of families stateless, seeking asylum in countries already stretched thin by the ravages of war. Charged with preventing catastrophe, an idealistic explorer named Fridtjof Nansen changed hundreds of thousands of lives with a piece of paper: the Nansen Passport. Although it stopped short of granting citizenship, the Nansen Passport allowed its holders to cross borders to find work, and protected them from deportation. Some experts are calling for a similar solution today."

Coldplay offers song to benefit MOAS rescuers

February 7, 2017

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.Coldplay, donation

Coldplay offered the income from its song to the Migrant Offshore Aid Station, the rescue ship and mission financed by Regina and Christopher Catrambone, two businesspeople who, after the tragic shipwreck of Lampedusa of October 2013, started to work in the Strait of Sicily to save migrants. "Every year MOAS aids thousands of people who (more…)

More than 1300 migrants saved in one day

February 4, 2017

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

From The Guardian:

More than 1,300 migrants were rescued in 13 separate missions in the Mediterranean on Friday, bringing the total helped over the last three days to more than 2,600, according to the Italian coastguard.

The migrants, aboard 13 different vessels, were picked up in the central Mediterranean by ships from the Italian coastguard, the Italian and British navies, merchant ships, and vessels operated by non-government organisations, a statement said. Another 1,300 migrants were rescued on Wednesday.

The voyage from Libya across the Mediterranean to Italy is currently the main route to Europe for migrants. A record 181,000 made the journey last year, most on flimsy boats run by people smugglers.

More than 5,000 people are believed to have died attempting the crossing in 2016.

Torture, murder, to make room for more: what happens in Libya

February 2, 2017

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

From The Guardian 30 Jan 2017
"Conditions for migrants and refugees in Libya are worse than in concentration camps, according to a paper sent to the German foreign ministry by its ambassador in Niger.

The German embassy in Niger has authenticated reports of executions, torture and other systematic rights abuses in camps on the refugee route in Libya, Die Welt cited the report as saying on Sunday....
“There are executions of countless migrants, torture, rapes, bribery and banishment to the desert on a daily basis,” the report says.

Witnesses spoke of five executions a week in one prison, designed to free up space for new migrants and increase smugglers’ revenues."

hundreds of African immigrants disembark at Augusta

February 1, 2017

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

The 212 immigrants rescued by SOS Mediterranee's ship Aquarius were brought to shore in Sicily last night. 41 of the refugees are minors, and and 38 of them came without parents or guardians. 31 of the immigrants were women, and one of them is pregnant, according to a report in La Repubblica this morning. They came from Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali, Cameroon and Morocco. They left the Libyan coast from Sabrata on the night between 27 and 28 January, having paid about 1,000 Libyan dinars each, about $714 U.S.. Four traffickers were arrested and sent to jail in Siracusa, Sicily.

Palermo unanimously voted Italian Culture Capital for 2018

January 31, 2017

Tags: palermo, culture, capital, italy, 2018, sicily, italy

Palermo will be Italy's culture capital for the year 2018.

More refugees rescued yesterday by ship Aquarius

January 30, 2017

Tags: immigrants, boats, mediterranean, rescue, ships, fear, drowning, trouble, africa, sicily, Italy.

The ship Aquarius, operated by the humanitarian italo-franco-german NGO SOS Mediterranee, saved 125 refugees aboard a rubber raft yesterday 15 miles from the Libyan coast west of Tripoli. SOS Mediterranee operates in partnership with Doctors Without Borders. The vessel in trouble was first noted by the merchant ship Deep Vision around 7:30 a.m.: its crew kept (more…)

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