Starting with material gathered from and about Greece and Italy by Andriani Fili and Francesca Esposito, this project aims to visualise what goes on in detention centres in order to increase public access to knowledge about immigration and the treatment of immigrants in detention settings. Eventually other countries will be added. This countermapping project presents a variety of forms of evidence including videography, photography, original art, oral history, and testimonies from those directly affected. The material disseminated through this platform draws on a large set of data obtained over different time periods and under a range of diverse projects and long-term engagement with civil society organisations. It is specifically designed to offer a platform to civil society organisations, solidarity groups, (ex) detainees and the public to communicate their experiences from detention.  

The map shows the locations of facilities where irregular detainees may be detained in both Greece and Italy. Clicking on a node, you can see the name of the centre; click again and you will be directed to the centre’s page where an array of information will be provided including images, video and audio (where applicable), academic work, human rights organisations’ reports, policy briefs and other published material. We hope that in time, the material we provide will be enriched by original contributions from people in the field and those who have survived the centres. Items can be added easily through the button ‘add information to this location’ found at the bottom of each individual page. Contributors will remain anonymous if they wish and they can add either text, document, video or audio files. This is a collaborative project, designed to give organisations and groups already in detention an avenue for publicising their findings and disseminating them to a wider audience which is not limited to their national contexts but reaches out globally.

We hope this initiative will challenge attempts by the Greek and Italian states to invisibilise and spatially isolate immigrants, while supporting local partners who are engaged in advocacy and strategic litigation, e.g. through factual investigation, research and analysis. We believe that this project can provoke critical witnessing. This map depicts Italy and Greece as they are experienced and shaped by migrants’ presence and their struggles.

You can see the map here. For a full presentation on how it works see here

This project is led by Mary Bosworth and funded by Open Society Foundations.