…The next day, accompanied by my uncle, I went to get my passport and it was ready within a week. I looked at it. I never thought I would own one. None of my friends ever had one. I felt so cool! But my enthusiasm didn’t last long. It was not enough just to have a passport and a plane ticket, which my aunt would have paid for. Barbara had just informed me that I was different from my cousins born from a French father. For them to come to Senegal, they just had to buy a ticket and come, but I had to have a visa. What does that mean?…
At the time this tale takes place, Lamine is a 12-year-old boy who wants to understand why he cannot travel from Senegal around the world. When he is older, he rebels against the status quo, that is against the fact that, just because he was born in an African country, he is not allowed to travel to a great deal of countries, including France, the place where his cousins were born from a French mother, Barbara, and his Senegalese uncle. His decision to migrate is a form of societal rebellion.
Alba Marina Ospina Domínguez migrated from Colombia to Europe with the purpose to better know herself:
My grandmother and I emigrated at two different times and in inverse spaces. Although we had radically opposite backgrounds, for both of us migration was synonymous with emancipation: for her it represented liberation from the constraints of an oppressive and domineering family; for me it represented winning my independence.
When she was 18 years old, Alba left Colombia to trace her family history in her diary, starting from the roots of the tree, represented by her grandmother, going through the trunk, represented by her mother. After many encounters, landscapes and going through the difficult covid times, Alba arrives in Italy.
The narrating voice is Carolina Valencia Caicedo, who is able to accompany and enhance Alba’s and Lamine’s stories while telling a third one, that of her feelings as a migrant person upon arrival in an initially cold and inhospitable country.
“Migrant Diaries” is now available on all main podcast platforms and on our website.