Alessandro Leogrande
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La frontiera

There is an imaginary yet very real line, a wound that is not closed, a place of everyone and no one of which everyone, invisibly, is a part: it is the frontier that separates and at the same time unites the North of the world, democratic, liberal and civilized, and the South, poor, war-bitten, backward and undemocratic. It is on the edge of this frontier that the Great Game of the contemporary world is played out. This threshold is elusive, indefinable, non-material: the writing approaches it by approximations, attempts, moving into the unexplored, there where migrations and rejections are consumed, there where people fight to live or to die. Leogrande takes us aboard the ships of Operation Mare Nostrum and fishes the words from the seabed where they lie embedded and hidden. He takes us to meet traffickers and baby-scouts, along with the stories of the survivors of the Mediterranean shipwrecks off Lampedusa; he reconstructs the story of the Eritreans, a people among the peoples forced into migration by a vicious dictatorship, also caused by Italian colonialism; he tells us about the other frontier, the Greek frontier, that of Golden Dawn and Patras, and then the other one again, that of the Balkans; he introduces us to an exploded and devastated Libya; he lets us into the Italian CIEs and their abuses, into the violence of the Roman suburbs and the violence hidden in our souls: this is how the unnamable black hole into which EU law and our consciences sink every day is given a word. So much suffering. How much chaos. How much indifference. Somewhere in the future, our descendants will wonder how we could let this happen.
That word points to a line miles long and years thick. A furrow that crosses matter and time, nights and days, generations and the very voices that talk about it, chase each other, overlap, contradict each other, compress, expand.
It is the frontier.