DREAM SLAVES

Modern slavery, the real price of Italian vegetables and fruits. 2017 - 2018

The olive season in Sicily ended in November, during the harvesting season, between September and November/December, around 1,500-2000 people living in the informal camp for seasonal workers. The camp is located next to the village Campobello di Mazara and has been around for a few years, and it’s one of dozens of camps in Italy.

After harvesting season it was shelter for dozens of people who used to live there permanently. They are mainly men, refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from Western African countries, they work on nearby farms, harvesting olives and other vegetables and fruits, for very low money.
Out of season there is not so much work, and most of them living as homeless and working occasionally, a few days a month, for local farmers. Most of the people working at the farms came to Europe many years ago, some of them still doesn't have all Italians documents like refugee status or permission to stay and work in Italy, they are waiting for it even more than 3 years.

At the beginning of 2018, local authorities decide to remove the camp and force homeless refugees and migrants to leave. After carabinieri demolished all tents and sheds, dozens of people from camp moved to abandoned houses and factories located around the village. So they are living without access to water, electricity, bathrooms and toilets.

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Homeless people from West Africa, getting warm in informal camp.

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Refugees and migrants in front of temporary office, giving permission to work on the farms. Around 1500 people coming from all Italy to work on nearby olives farms, they are mainly men, refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from Western African countries.

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Abdulie, taking bath in front of abounded house, his shelter, in the middle of nowhere. He was living in the informal camp for around 3 years before police came to force all people to leave. Together with his several friends, he moved to this house, there is no electricity, no water, toilet and bathroom. He is in very deep depression, for many months he have no work, also for more than 4 years he doesn't seen his family, wife and 3 children. Also every day, several times, his mum and wife call him online to ask about money for food for all his family.

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Evening bath in informal camp.

Cafe preparation in one of the abandoned houses around Campobella di Mazara. It's shelter for several people from Gambia and Senegal, there is no water and electricity, no toilet and bathroom or even doors or windows.

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Homeless farm workers in the informal camp located at the Campobello di Mazara.

Refugees and migrants from Gambia and Senegal, charging their phones in one of the tent in camp. During the period of harvesting local residents share and allow people from the camp to connect to electricity and water. Immediately after the end of the olive season in December, local police and carabinieri officers show up to cut off the electricity.

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Informal camp destroyed by local carabinieri chief and his people.

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Migrant from Gambia, in front of one of the abandoned houses, located in the middle of informal camp for seasonal farm workers. He was living in this camp for more than 3 years, in March 2018, carabinieri came to camp and demolished it, blocked the abandoned houses and force all people to leave the camp.

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One of the Senegalese migrant in abandoned factory, shelter for several people from Gambia and Senegal in the middle of nowhere. There is no water and electricity. Around Campobello di Mazara is dozens of abandoned houses and factories, which are shelters for refugees and migrants from Western Africa.

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Homeless migrants from West Africa waiting in front of informal camp for local farmers picking up people to work at the farms.

Migrants from West Africa working at the olives orchard.

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Homeless migrant from Senegal, counting money sent to his family members to support those who doesn't have work at this moment. People from the same clans support themselves all over Europe.

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Lamin ( from Gambia), in a place where his "home" was a few weeks ago, in one of the many illegal camps for farm workers in Sicily where refugees and immigrants from Western African countries lives. One night he felt smoke and noticed the fire. The fire burned 15 houses in which sleep a dozen people, all fortunately managed to escape. Lamin lost all documents, clothes and money he had worked in Italy for several years.

Omar getting ready to work at the farm nearby the camp.

New informal camp build outside the district of the local carabinieri office. In 2021 the camp was burned down in an accident. One person was burned alive and dozens were seriously injured.

Gambian homeless migrant in abandoned house located in the middle of nowhere.

Homeless migrants from Gambia and Senegal in the abandoned house. Several people live here for many months, there is no water and electricity and the house is located several kilometres from the closest village and shop.

Farm workers in informal camp. The temperature in Sicily, at night, in the period between December and March drops to 4-5 degrees, it is also a period of very heavy rainfall. There is no heating, no water and no electricity in the camp, so firewood is collected from the fields nearby to burn it in metal buckets to warm up for a while.

Homeless farm worker from Gambia is praying in mosque located in the informal camp

One of the local Italian farmer riding a horse in front of abandoned house, full of refugee and migrants from Gambia and Senegal in the middle of nowhere. This house is located a few kilometers from shops and supermarkets located in the village of Campobello di Mazara. Also the nearest water point is located around 1-2 kilometers from the house, and most of the people living in that house don't even have a bicycle, so if they need some water to drink, or to wash themselves or clothes, they use shopping trolley and plastic containers. Many plastic containers was used for chemicals in nearby factories.