Open Encounters

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A fleeting encounter on Lampedusa led to a two-year wait that led, finally, to our reunion in the Sicilian seaside city, Agrigento. Ebrima talks housing + food quality, integration, "walls" + more. Recorded in Agrigento, Sicily.

Show Notes

Ebrima was 14-years-old when he fled The Gambia for Europe. He was kidnapped twice in Algeria before he was sixteen, and was tortured and starved in Libya before he successfully made the Mediterranean crossing for Italy. He landed in Lampedusa where I met him in the days after his rescue, but was transferred from the island hotspot before our scheduled interview the next day. Two years later, I met him in Agrigento, Sicily, where he emerged onto the piazza bearing no resemblance to the 16-year-old I met on the island, then so tired and traumatized. Here, he speaks about housing and food quality, integration and racism, and cracks up at the idea of a border wall. Recorded in Agrigento, Sicily in February 2019.

Plus, read Ebrima's original journey story + see photos of our first meeting in Lampedusa, live on the site with more to come!

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What is Open Encounters?

Hear the voices of the people who have crossed the Mediterranean Sea. After crossing continents, countries, the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean on inflatable boats, now they are on the next journey, of settling their lives in Italy, and beyond.

From humanitarian storytelling publication Migrants of the Mediterranean, this podcast brings light to the migrant flow in Italy and the EU in human terms. Migration continues to dominate the headlines in Europe, the US and around the world, but still so often only in political terms. Here, we change that.

Get to know the individuals themselves in one-on-one conversations with host and founder of Migrants of the Mediterranean, Pamela Kerpius.

Learn more about Migrants of the Mediterranean and read every journey story at the site.