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