Since February 25th, a characteristic vessel cruises off the coast of Libya: the Aquarius, a civil lifeboat.
Across its flank, bold black letters are visible from afar: SOS Méditerrannée. This is the name of the NGO who sent it. A young European NGO created in May 2015 by the Captain of the German Merchant Navy, with a sole objective: to save lives. His characteristic: his total independence from a government and the European Union.
The refugees rescued by the Aquarius are known as boat people. They fled their country, south of the Sahara, in order to flee wars or poverty. Today, as they embark on inflatable dinghy made in China, barely able to float in a swimming pool, they are focused on one thing only: saving their life.
In Libya, being black is a nightmare: death is everywhere, so are kidnappings, extortions and incarcerations in revolting living conditions. Rape, hunger, fear and shootouts are also common practices.
By rescuing the boat people, listening and taking their picture, we bear witness to their ordeal and give them a voice to be heard beyond the walls that Europe is building.
Espace d’art actuel Le Radar
24, rue des cuisiniers
Open Tuesday through Sunday 2.30 pm to 6.30 pm and Saturday 2 pm to 7 pm.
Exceptionally open Monday October 3rd 2.30 pm to 6.30pm, Friday October 7th 2.30 pm to 7 pm and Saturday October 8th 10 am to 7 pm.
Crédit : ©Édouard Élias