After finishing the first interview for the launch of our debut podcast The Accidental Geographer (October 17th), I stumbled across this brilliantly curated short documentary by Mario Badagliacca. It documents the tragic experience of Lassaad Jelassi, a migrant forced to live in the shadows under threat of deportation until he was captured by Italian police. The short is part of a larger project centered on Italy’s detention many centers. The title is what caught my attention ‘Letters from the Identification and Expulsion Centers in Italy.’ Expulsion is a theme featured prominently in Professor Thomas Nail’s new book, ‘The Figure of the Migrant,’ and he also just so happens to be one of our first guests. The documentary also highlights many of the themes common to Professor Alison Mountz’s research. She has also kindly agreed to join us on the podcast to discuss her work on the securitization of migration and the proliferation of detention centers in Europe’s periphery. Here’s a quick excerpt to read from one of her papers to help contextualize Badagliacci’s documentary.
Amid security “crises,” states use geography creatively to undermine access to legal representation, human rights, and avenues to asylum. Enforcement operations reach offshore, moving the border to the locations of asylum seekers and carrying out detention in places between states. These geographic shifts of border enforcement are tied to the securitization of migration and require a degree of complicity with violence in peripheral zones.
Watch the short documentary below (10min) or head over to the WARSCAPES blog to read an introduction from the director.
Barbed wire, soldiers, search dogs and torchlights in the night. Even in Italy there is an internal frontline, just like in Eastern Europe. But the battle against migrants is taking place through the Identification and Expulsion Centers. Letters from the CIE is part of a bigger visual project about the Identification and Expulsion Centers in Italy, places affected by serious human rights violations.