Carlos Spottorno: At the Gates of Europe

The consequences of some conflicts related to the Arab springs, such as the Libyan and Syrian wars triggered a massive wave of refugees. On 3 October 2013, 366 immigrants trying to get to the italian coast of Lampedusa drowned in the southern Mediterranean sea. A short time after the tragedy, the italian government launched the Operation Mare Nostrum, involving 5 war ships from the Italian navy and other additional resources.

This short documentary shows a close up Search and Rescue operation conducted by the crew of the frigate Grecale in March 2014. Nearly 200 immigrants mainly from Pakistan and Sirya were found drifting somewhere between Lampedusa and Tunisia.

This film ends with a rare footage of the Refugee center of Mineo, Sicily. The largest refugees center in Europe, and the place where many among those who have been rescued by the Italian navy end up for months or years.

Commissioned by El Pais. Multimedia display at El Pais Semanal online:

Shot and edited by Carlos Spottorno all images by Carlos Spottorno.