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Borders. A special episode of Radio Melting Pot dedicated to the theme of borders

A journey from Ceuta to Lampedusa, from Briançon to Ventimiglia

11 October 2020

You can listen to interviews with:
- Annapaola Ammirati, legal worker with Progetto In Limine, Asgi
- Lawyer Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo, Associazione Diritti e Frontiere (Rights and Borders) organisation
- Vanessa Guidi, on-board medic, Mare Jonio, (Mediterranea)
- Beatrice Sgorbissa, activist with Strada Si.Cura
- Giuseppe Lione, Progetto 20K
- Stéphanie Besson, Tous Migrants
- Claudia Vitali, Mediterranean Hope
- Reduan Mohamed Jalid, activist with Dignum Ceuta and Alarm Phone
- Luigi D’Alife, director of the feature film "The Milky way"


Today’s episode focuses on borders.

We’ll discuss transit zones, territories that people cross trying to reach Europe.
Land borders, maritime borders and internal borders as test sites for controlling and screening migrants, and, as we well know from the news reports, sites of systematic violation of rights.
But the abuses and illegitimate practices are only one instance - albeit not a casual one - of a wider, prolonged strategy.
On a journey from Ceuta to Lampedusa, from Briançon to Ventimiglia, we’ll hear eye-witness testimonies from organisations operating on the ground as watchdogs and providing active support and solidarity.

The interviews with our guests will be available in their entirety on Melting Pot.

Borders. Trasmissione speciale di Radio Melting Pot dedicata al tema delle frontiere


From the 25th to the 27th September, ASGI organised a training called “Working on the border”, as part of the In Limine project and with the organisation Spazi Circolari. The two days of training aimed to shed light in the shadows, to discuss and develop tools for effective legal monitoring and interventions that focus on legal inquiry and political analysis, not only on a national scale but that also keep the European context in mind.
For the “Sans papier” section, Annapaola Ammirati, legal worker for Asgi’s In Limine project, reflects on the theme of borders as test sites of informal processes systematically designed to pushback people trying to enter Europe.

Annapaola Ammirati, operatrice legale del Progetto In Limine di Asgi

Photo credit: Flavio Gasperini, Sos Mediterranee


For the “Citizenships” section, the lawyer Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo from the Associazione Diritti e Frontiere, paints a picture of the situation in the central Mediterranean and the difficult circumstances in which NGO ships have to operate. A timely look at the difficulties faced by search and rescue teams and the systematic violation of human rights carried out by the Italian government.
The interview was edited by Arturo Raffaele Covella.

Avvocato Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo, ADIF



Next, we discuss maritime borders and Mediterranea, an organisation that, as many know, carry out observation, monitoring and rescue missions in the central Mediterranean. In this clip, Tommasso Pieri interviews Vannessa Guidi, a young doctor who chose to embark on the Mare Jonio as on-board medic this summer.

Vanessa Guidi, medico di bordo della Mare Jonio (Mediterranea)


You can find Strada Si.Cura every week in the Piazza della Libertà in Trieste, where together with the organisation Linea D’Ombra, they offer support and care to people arriving from the so-called Balkan route.
Beatrice Sgorbissa explains that they are witnessing a general decline in social and health conditions, alongside an increase in both border controls and pushbacks as a strategy to contain arrivals.
The interview was carried out by Eleonora Sodini.

Beatrice Sgorbissa, attivista di Strada Si.Cura

Photo credit: Emanuela Zampa


We now move to Ventimigila. We asked Giuseppe from Progetto 20K to update us on the situation on the Italo-Franco border.
Giuseppe describes pushbacks from France.
We will soon publish online the complete interview, conducted by Carla Congiu.

Giuseppe Lione, Progetto 20K


Over the last three years, the refuge at Briançon on the Italo-Franco border has offered millions of people on the move a place to rest, wash, eat a hot meal, treat their wounds and gather their strengths before continuing their journey - it’s an emergency sanctuary, offering a few days in dignified conditions.
Now, the new mayor has sent the organisation Refuges Solidaires, who had the rights to the space, an order to vacate the property by the 30th October.
We caught up with Stéphanie Besson, an activist with Tous Migrants, the organisation who launched an appeal against the closure of the Refuge at Briançon. The interview was conducted in French by Federica Torta.

Stéphanie Besson, Tous Migrants (in francese)

Photo credit: Reduan Mohamed Jalid


At Ceuta, human rights either don’t exist, or they exist only on paper”, reports Reduan, activist and member of several organisations, including Dignum Ceuta and Alarm Phone. He calls in from Spain to explain what it means to live on the border with Morocco, sadly known for the practice of “devoluciones en caliente”. In particular, in an interview with Alessanda Pelliccia, Reduan describes the current situation in the Spanish enclave in the light of the health crisis of Covid-19.
Here are a few minutes of his account, the full interview will be published in Italian translation on the Melting Pot website.

Reduan Mohamed Jalid, attivista di Dignum Ceuta ed Alarm Phone (in spagnolo)


Claudia Vitali, a worker at Mediterranean Hope, a project ran by the Italian federation of evangelical churches, outlines their activities on the island of Lampedusa, and the changes in the arrivals and the situation in the hotspot that they’ve noticed over the last few months.

Claudia Vitali, Mediterranean Hope


The episode closes with an interview with Luigi D’Alife, director of the feature film “The Milky Way”, set in the mountains between Clavière and Monginevro, along the natural border of the Western Alps, a route historically taken by Italian migrants heading to France, and that today sees people risking their lives to cross it. The film was entirely produced thanks to a crowdfunding campaign.
We’ll hear a few minutes from the interview between Chiara Zannelli and Luigi D’Alife.

Luigi D’Alife, regista del lungometraggio "The Milky way"

Thanks to everyone who let us use their testimony for this special episode.


Melting Pot Radio
Laboratorio radiofonico per la promozione dei diritti di cittadinanza
Laboratoire radiophonique pour la promotion des droits de citoyenneté
Radio workshop for the promotion of citizenship rights

This workshop initially planned to produce 10 broadcasts.

Our editorial staff, born out of two public calls for participation, includes about 30 people, from multiple countries including Guinea, Morocco, Nigeria, Iran, Italy, Bolivia, Argentina and Senegal. In these meetings, including an initial meeting discussing how to develop the radio programme, we decided to separate into two groups: one dealing with technical aspects and the other handling editorial.

The broadcast is divided into several sections corresponding to the sections on our website: Sans Papiers, Cittadinanze and Un Mondo Molti Mondi.

The project is sponsored by Melting Pot Europa in collaboration with Open Your Borders - a volunteer association that operates in the city of Padova, running several social inclusion projects - Radio Sherwood and ParoleInMovimento, the Italian school for migrants in Venice supported by the student group LiSC.

If you are interested in participating in the project, email collaborazioni@meltingpot.org.