Books Reporting from the Salt Road
Refugees and migrants: what makes them undertake such a perilous journey.
- Friday, 28 April 2017
In this period in history, in which fake news and populist propaganda seem to be gaining ground on the traditional media, a book has been published that might be able to provide some order amidst the chaos.
One of the deceptions most commonly pedalled by right-wing populists is the threat posed by immigrants: a pretext used by Matteo Salvini in Italy and Marine Le Pen in France for their own political ends. But immigrants are the protagonists of a dramatic phenomenon. Ignoring the blowing of nationalist winds, photojournalist Emanuele Confortin chose to openly and honestly tell the story of the new Salt Roads, routes along which human beings travel rather than goods. In his book Dentro l’esodo(Inside the Exodus), Confortin narrates his experiences and encounters with those fleeing Syria, Kurdistan and Afghanistan in search of a life free from war, oppression and extreme poverty. Their journey leads along the Balkan route in spite of the ambivalence in Europe, where migrants are increasingly being viewed as foreign threats. But are there really barbarians at the gates of a blind Europe that seems to have lost its compass? Confortin delivers on the meaningful virtue of restoring some dignity to migrants through the words with which he describes what he saw on the roads to Europe but mainly thanks to the photographs that immortalize their suffering, fear and hope. This is a book worth reading and rereading. If we wish to be aware and informed, we need to ignore the latest populist slogans and observe the reality on the ground.
Dentro l’esodo. Migranti sulla via europea
by Emanuele Confortin, 216 pages,
Antiga Edizioni, €25.