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People in Transit

Christine Cassar's picture

The Mediterranean—a basin of cultures, the demographics of which, it seems, invite both appeal and criticism…

Gone seem to be the days when water was the key in a process of communication; where those living along the coasts would be absorbing, assimilating and partaking in diversity and exchange. Routes were sea, not land. Trade was linked to ports, transport to ships, and movement to waves.

Yet, it seems that the present situation warrants talk of a rediscovery of the reason for barracks, bastions and lookout posts.

The desperate attempts of many making this trip—those using the Mediterranean as a path and not a break in the land—would hardly be noticeable were it not for the intense regulation of movement, and the sporadic yet not unusual wrangle over who should save those in distress.

Whilst we conquer space through import and export, whilst we whizz our production lines to the remotest regions of the world and dash our products to cities around the globe, we are intent on constraining the movement of people. Thus, it seems that the freedom of movement of capital is stronger than that of individuals. Flexible accumulation seems a good enough reason for production to leave shores and enter those more favorable, yet economics seems not a good enough reason for persons to seek opportunities elsewhere.

The sea is indeed a point of confluence, yet for those stranded on it whilst authorities squabble over jurisdictions, it is no more a tale of hope than it is one of despair—yet another chapter of rejection and placelessness for the ones seeking the dream called ‘Europe.’