Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Dying to reach Europe

More than 250  immigrants  traveling in 6 small boats have landed in  Grand Canaries and Andalucia in the past 24 hours.  Out of a total 1000 refugees  presently in Grand Canaries, 198 were flown to the Spanish mainland.    According to El Pais the  numbers of Africans reaching Spain in the past year has gone up by 200%.  Spanish TV news  reported that there are presently some 10,000 people waiting in Mauritania to make the crossing to Grand Canaries.   

Immigrants545 people  men died in two crossing incidents last week off the coast of Mauritania.  Many of the bodies were washed up on the beach whilst others were picked out of the sea by local fisherman.    Because of the increased security in Morocco and the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, Mauritania and the southern part Western Sahara have become the new departure points for mainly West Africans to reach Spain.

The boats used to be rubber dingy types that were actually bought in Spain and taken to Morocco by the smugglers.  Now the smugglers build poorly constructed disposable boats out of wood which are left on the beach along with the human cargo – if they make it.   

The possibility of being sent back or even worse, death is no deterrent. I personally know of one young man who has traveled backwards and forwards between Morocco, Greece, Cyprus, Germany and back again.  I am not sure where he is now, but every once in a while I get a text telling me which country he is now in.  He is suprisingly optimistic and if lucky he gets to work for a few  weeks here and there.  Wondering Europe  in seach of  a better life but so far never quite making it. 



  1. I often wonder what situations people leave behind to go to such drastic measures.

    But the, I also admire the spirit that it takes to put two feet on unfamiliar ground. I try to do it as much as possible, but I’ve only gambled my entire life on it 4 times… all legally, but still – taking your life and moving it is a difficult thing. The last time I did it, I had to learn Spanish…

    Every time, I learned a lot. I suppose it’s a matter of what you do and what your attitude and work ethic are.

  2. I also have taken those steps into a new life 3 times but always to place where at least I could speak the language. Coming to Spain was quite different. I felt functionally illiterate for the first year and even now sometimes get frustrated. Doing this and having to negotiate deals with smugglers, cross deserts into ever increasingly unfamiliar terrains, hide from police and theives and finally to Europe where not only is the language and culture so far removed from your own – but no one wants you. You live on the margins of life before eventually IF your luck holds out you can begin to live a life and shares some of lives joys.

  3. African Presidents & Governors, here is a result of your mismanagement! Will these things still happen to Africa a century from now? Will it ever change? While the saga of Kenya’s biggest corruption scam under ex-President Moi goes on, our people are fleeing their own land in peace time.

    We must continue to hold our heads up high to those that do NOT want us here. Our gold, diamonds & oil power this global economy. YOu’ve guessed it! We are part of that economy. I simply remind the racist and ignorant few that I meet, “your people came overseas for our treasures, I have simply come to get my share of the loot”.

    African Presidents & Governors, here is a result of your mismanagement! shame on all of you so called leaders for the past 45years!