On March 10, 2015, the mayor of Catania, Enzo Bianco, inaugurated a monumental mausoleum in the city's cemetery to commemorate 17 people who had lost their lives to the Mediterranean the year before. Their corpses were found in the waters around Lampedusa, whose small cemetery, in former mayor Giusi Nicolini's words, could not spatially 'welcome' any more bodies to bury. Not only did Bianco offer them a burial place in his city but he also had engraved on each of the 17 graves a verse of Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka's recent poem Migrants, a powerful reflection on exile and migration as an act of resistance, written for the poetry anthology Migrazioni/Migrations. Bianco also commissioned a statue to a group of students at the Catania's Academy of Fine Arts − "Shipwrecked Hope" − which lies at the center of the monumental complex. Catania's memorial reminds us of the importance of sharing and passing on collective memory in the face of a tragedy that continues to afflict hundreds of thousands of women, men and children who come from Africa looking for better life conditions and democracy on the European shores but more often than not encounter death.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|