Daniel Castro Garcia | Foreigner: I Peri N'Teri

Country of origin: United Kingdom
Project location: Italy
Program: Magnum Foundation Fund
Year: 2018

Foreigner: I Peri N’Tera is the new chapter of my ongoing project on the migrant/refugee crisis in Europe; this chapter focuses on Sicily, Italy. ‘I peri n’tera’ is a Sicilian colloquialism that translates as ‘feet on the ground’. I first heard this phrase on my initial visit to Catania in May 2015, and it is used in conversation to ensure people do not get carried away with their hopes and dreams. It is a provocative title investigating the reality of life in Sicily for migrants and refugees from Africa who survive the journey to Europe across the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea. Despite ambitions to work and provide for their families, in Italy their reality consists of ghettoisation, unemployment or exploitative labour and a long and difficult process to receive documentation. My new body of work focuses on the lives of unaccompanied minors and the traumatic and psychological impact of these individual journeys to Europe, and subsequently ideas of identity and integration within their new community. How do the individuals at the centre of this crisis locate themselves within their ‘new’ landscape and what effect do these experiences have on their daily lives?