The deadly violence of the EU border regime in the Mediterranean has to be situated in a historical continuity of a politics of repression which prioritises protecting nation-states’ borders over protecting the lives of those who seek to cross them. In this interview, Francesca Esposito speaks to Hela Kanakane, Maurice Stierl, and Deanna Dadusc who are members of Watch The Med - Alarm Phone and at the forefront of supporting people who find themselves in distress while crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Hela Kanakane is based in Tunis and she is a student of Economics. Maurice Stierl is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Warwick, and his research focuses on migration struggles in contemporary Europe and (northern) Africa. Deanna Dadusc is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Brighton, and her research focuses on the criminalisation of migrants' solidarity and of political struggles. In this conversation Hela, Maurice, and Deanna describe the recent escalation and normalisation of border violence, also in light of the current global pandemic; the lack of intervention, transparency and accountability on the part of EU governments and institutions along with the lack of support provided to survivors of border violence; and, finally, the struggles of activists who are facing an increasing criminalisation of their work in solidarity with people on the move.
To find out more about the Alarm Phone and the situation in the Central Mediterranean Sea, see their most recent reports on the September shipwrecks, the August shipwrecks, and their Central Mediterranean regional analysis.