Dream Slaves - Farm workers in Sicily, 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.

 © 2019 by Mariusz Smiejek, all rights reserved.

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