Migrants, hopes and disillusion

  • Italiano

Peoples have always migrated over the centuries. It is our nature and also that of the animals to move in search of better accommodations, different from those of one’s habitat of origin. But in recent years hundreds of thousands of people have moved from one part of the planet to another, and hundreds of thousands more are preparing to leave. Why is that?  What happened? What pushes a man to put on a barge his whole life, his family, people he loves the most, and face a journey in the night, between the waves, knowing that most of the time they are not going to reach destination? The answer is: hope… Or, perhaps it would be more precise to call it illusion.

If emigrants knew that over 4 million Italians live below the poverty line, would they be willing to leave? If the media did not talk all the time about how refugees are accommodated, about the 4 star hotel, and secure money aid which is not that secure, would emigrants depart? There are also immigrants from Pakistan who after arriving into a nice house in the countryside, after having been welcomed there with joy, fed and settled in, left  because conditions were not good enough for them! And because they wanted hospitality in a hotel, in a nation where there are elderly people who sleep and eat at train stations or inside a busted car! Where there are traders who commit suicide because of economic issues or shame!

We are still talking about refugees, and it is true that many people are forced to flee from war, but the greatest percentage of people are running away from poverty. I have heard many stories from emigrants during those years. Stories of suffering, torture, tribal wars, persecutions for religious and ethical reasons. Young people sentenced to death because they fall in love, but belong to different castes, homosexuals  abandoned even by their own families to a dreadful destiny such as stoning or mutilation… stories that cannot leave you indifferent.

But behind many other stories there is only illusion, that of a non-existent paradise and this illusion is transmitted over hundreds of thousands of kilometers via satellites with festive images as if it were an advertisement: happy, smiling families gathered around laden tables. Those images enter break into rooms where people’s bowls are next to that of the dog; or villas with pools on the top of a hill and luxury cars that reach people where a bicycle is luxury…

How much responsibility have the media! In transmitting falsehoods, often describing merely one aspect, the color of a non-existent life…I believe that information must assume a sense of ethical responsibility and cannot exonerate itself by saying that, at bottom, a journalist is a notary: (s)he has to record facts and pictures! Today it does not work this way anymore and the false messages do more harm than bombs.

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