Summa Cum Laude (The boy from Mali)

 

2019

Multilayer mono-channel video HD

Duration:02:20”

 

 

On 18 April 2015, an Egyptian fishing boat, with Blessed Allah written on its bow, set sail from the coast of Libya. Normally carrying about twenty fishermen, it was loaded with about a thousand people, victims of desperation and human trafficking.

 

Most of the passengers were from sub-Saharan Africa - among them several children, who were seeing the sea for the first time - and had managed to survive the unspeakable journey from their countries of origin, stalked by criminals of all kinds, who take advantage of the defencelessness of these forced migrants to enslave them, plunder them and, in the best case, after charging them disproportionate sums of money, offer them the crossing of the Mare Nostrum to take them to Europe.

 

A Malian boy, about 14 years old, was among this batch of migrants. He had been an excellent student, so he decided - probably with the help of his mother - to sew inside a pocket of his jacket, his brilliant grades, sure that these - all the effort of his short life - would be his best credentials for that new stage of opportunities he dreamed of.

 

But the boat sank, and with it the dreams of the Malian boy, and hundreds of other passengers, in what is the biggest shipwreck - and the biggest shame - in recent times in the Central Mediterranean.