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.






Tags

Out of Palermo

Volunteer rescuers exhausted

June 29, 2017

Tags: immigrants, drowning, sicily, africa, trouble, border, europe, death, immigration, flow, people, africans, rescue, drowning, rescuers, volunteers, fatigue

From today's The Guardian:
"As 1,032 people plucked from the Mediterranean prepared to disembark the MS Aquarius onto southern Italian soil on Thursday, bringing refugee and migrant arrivals to more than 12,000 this week, those who had rescued them said they understood why Rome was threatening to close its ports to such vessels.

“Officially, we haven’t heard anything from the Italian government … but if this is indeed the case, if anything it sounds more like a cry for help from the Italian government towards the EU,” said Marcella Kraay, a Dutch coordinator with Médecins Sans Frontières, as the ship arrived at Porto di Corigliano in Calabria.

“And that goes along with what we’ve always asked for, which is for the EU to organise dedicated search and rescue in the Mediterranean. Until that happens we are forced to be out there because people are in danger, they’re going to drown if we’re not there.”

To read more in The Guardian, click on the photo caption.

Rescue NGO MOAS responds to questions about funding

May 14, 2017

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

Rescuers have been accused by some Sicilian authorities of taking money from traffickers to fund their efforts. Here is part of the response from MOAS:
"When questioned about why all our disembarkations are carried out in Italy, and not say, Malta or Tunisia, our representatives explained that MOAS is not the decision-maker in this (more…)

MOAS ship Phoenix docks at Catania with hundreds of migrants and dead boy

May 6, 2017

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

From La Repubblica 6 May 2017
CATANIA, Sicily -- The rescue ship Phoenix belonging to the non-governmental organization MOAS docked at this port this morning bearing 394 rescued migrants and one dead 10-year-old boy who was allegedly murdered by his trafficker. MOAS co-founder Regina Catrambone, who was also aboard, said the boy was pistol- whipped to death by a trafficker when the boy refused to give the trafficker his baseball cap. NGOs rescuing migrants at sea have been accused by certain Catania officials of accepting money from traffickers to pick up shipwrecked migrants and plague Europe with them. Catambrone and the other NGOs say they run their operations with donations from supporters.


Volunteers to fix apt confiscated from Mafia

April 6, 2016

Tags: volunteers, mafia, Albegheria, Santa Chiara, Addio Pizzo, poor, poverty, family

The city has given two apartments confiscated from the Mafia to needy, homeless families. But the apartments needed lot of work. So volunteers from the anti-Mafia association Addio Pizzo ( Goodbye, Protection money) and the mission of Santa Chiara put on a fund-raising dinner that brought together unemployed construction workers, architects, tradesmen and donors. A woman immigrant who had been helped by the mission volunteered to cook a dinner from her own country. Together they will fix up the apartments in a hurry before squatters can move in.

Kennel workers strike, volunteers take over duties

February 23, 2016

Tags: palermo, dogs, kennel, municipal, strike, workers, volunteers, dog pound.

A new union took over the care and feeding of dogs at the municipal kennel yesterday and immediately went on strike for higher wages, showers and safety clothes. Also, they don't think they should have to exercise or feed the dogs.They are assigned to catch the stray dogs, provide veterinary services and clean (more…)

Volunteers paint over vandals' graffiti at La Zisa

January 19, 2016

Tags: volunteers, clean, paint, Zisa, graffitti, vandals, Palero, Sicily, sicilia, pride, work, team

The volunteers are part of a group that formed spontaneously to remove graffiti from the cars of Palermo's spanking new trams, Tramiamo Civita`. The local group belongs to a larger umbrella group, Retake, a national anti-graffiti association.

Volunteers give psychological counseling to immigrant torture and trauma victims

August 1, 2015

Tags: volunteers, migrants, palermo, sicily, africa, psychological help, immigrants, Mediterranean immigration, violence, trauma, torture

They tell of torture in the country of origin or during the long voyage to Europe, which may last years. But also psychological traumas undergone n the Italy's "welcome centers". The walk-in clinic of Palermo General Hospital Immigration Medicine has been in service for seven years thanks to the work of volunteers who work (more…)

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