Zed Nelson - Europe’s Immigration Disaster
***The film will be screened on Channel 4 in April, 2014***
On October 3rd last year a boat carrying over 500 migrants from North Africa capsized off the coast of the Italian Island of Lampedusa. 360 people drowned, many of them women and children. It was one of Europe’s worst maritime disasters since the Second World War.
This film (for Channel 4’s ‘Dispatches’) tells the inside story of the tragedy - through the testimony of survivors, and locals who were the first on the scene.
Award winning photographer Zed Nelson’s first film for Channel 4 follows the clandestine onward journey of the survivors as they navigate the illegal immigration route out of Italy into Northern Europe.
At the centre of the programme is the story of one remarkable young woman, one of only five women who survived.
Fanus, a teenager from Eritrea, tells Channel 4 Dispatches of the desire to escape a life of military servitude that motivated her flight from the country. She recounts the extraordinary hardship she suffered crossing Africa and how, unable to swim, she somehow survived for hours in the water after the boat went down.
Fanus is caught up as a witness in an extraordinary court case involving a man accused of her kidnap. She then escapes and goes to incredible lengths to circumvent the European asylum system in order to reach the country she dreams of living in.
A remarkable portrait of human determination, the programme raises questions about Europe’s immigration barriers and the lengths desperate refugees will go to in order to breach them.
Please watch this.