Our lives and bodies matter: memories of violence and strategies of resistance among migrants crossing the Mediterranean


Author: Monica Massari


This article addresses the counter-effects of the politics of externalization of European frontiers in Libya through a qualitative analysis of a case study concerning a group of Somali asylum-seekers who, after being held and tortured in Libyan detention centres, managed to cross the Mediterranean and arrived in Italy where they accidentally met and, thus, pressed charges against their torturer. Based on the information provided in the judicial files containing their testimonies, which led to the first recognition by a European court of the unbearable forms of violence suffered by migrants in Libya, this article offers a critical reflection on the implications of migration control enforcement promoted at the EU’s borders on the European civil and political community. Moreover, it provides a reflection on the challenges raised for migration studies by survivors’ testimonies on the wider implications of subjective experiences and biographical narratives in illuminating emerging domains of social responsibility and political action.


Link to OA article