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Racing from Africa to Europe

Sierra Leone / British journalist, Sorious Samura becomes an ‘illegal’ [his words]  immigrant traveling from Morocco to Europe with a group of African migrants. Three of the men decide to make the crossing by swimming to the European enclave of Ceuta in Morocco – one makes it three are caught. The journey is horrendous and desperate and can take up to 4 / 5 years. At first there is a sense of commradre between the men (there are no women in the film) as they struggle for a life of selling battery’s, flowers and DVDs and living in make shift dormitories. But by the time Samura gets to France and realises he has been conned by the smuggler anger takes over. Many of the men admit to begging which is something I never saw in my life in southern Spain so maybe this is something new or something which happens in northern Spain, France.

Samura makes the point that it is immigrants people who contribute to the economy. The ones who oil the wheels which keeps Europe turning, doing those jobs Europeans wont do and nothing will stop them from coming. At the same time the British government is very happy to encourage the immigration of skilled workers from Africa, draining the continent of it’s professionals.

This is a soulless lonely journey – as they reach Calais there are thousands of men and women from across the world all desperate to make the final crossing to Britain by having to negotiate border police, more smugglers and the forest. I hope, like Arick from Sudan who is on his third trip, they all make it to Dreamland – one day!

The full film

Sorious Samura : Living with Illegals from Nick Lintott • Director on Vimeo.

Living With Illegals from GLaDOS on Vimeo.

Via Africa is a Country

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4 Comments

  1. Comment by post author

    Sokari

    Who is at fault here is far more complex than your comment implies – Britain / Europe are as much to blame as Nigeria / Africa. On the one hand Europe seeks African professionals who as you say cannot meet their potential due to a range of factors I am not going to go into. On the other the poor of the global south who oil the wheels of the West have to endure this suffering in order to work in those jobs that the Westerners do not want and to send money home to feed their families. British immigration policy is a game played with peoples lives. Like wise Nigerian politics is another game played with peoples lives. It is so sickening it is difficult to even write about as at the end of the day whether Europe or Africa it is the poor who are being exploited as usual.

  2. anengiyefa

    Well, Sokari, I find it hard to find fault with many of Africa's professionals who aren't keen on remaining in Africa, where the opportunity for them to realise their full potential hardly exists. And if Britain wishes to capitalise on Africa's failure to improve conditions for her professionals back home by encouraging emigration to Britain of Africa's professionals, then the fault is with the system in Africa, not with the British.

  3. I can not watch the video, video no longer exist.
    Can you fix this. Thanks in advance

  4. Sokari

    ITS NOT MY VIDEO – if its gone then its gone. You should email Vimeo and ask them why it was removed.