Chris de Bode

Messina, Sicily, Italy

Above: Mamadou (17) from Guinea Conakry in Milan.
Below: Mamadou wants to be a mechanic or footballer. He says 'I landed in Italy on 30 March of 2016. I was registered in the port of Catania and [then] came to this centre… In my country, I went to school for six years until I dropped out. I tried to find work at a young age … but I couldn't find any jobs. I fled Guinea because in 2015, there were big demonstrations going on. I'm an ethnic Peul (Fulani) and we were discriminated against on a daily basis…. I left Guinea on my own, but on the way you meet people and make fiends. From Guinea I went to Mali, then to Burkina Faso and Niger, and then I crossed the desert to Libya… I stayed in the country for ten months, that was very hard… First I worked in construction, to make a living.. I try to forget what happened in Libya, I've seen things that I don't want to talk about. After ten months, I decided to cross the sea. I don't even know what I paid for the voyage but I know I was glad when a boat picked us up. And I felt relief when I touched Italian soil for the first time. I'd like to be a football player… But if I can't be a soccer player, I'd like to be a car mechanic. I love repairing things. The Italian Ferrari is a beautiful car, but I think they might be a bit too hard for me to repair. I like it here in the centre, the people are nice to me. Right now we are learning Italian, you have to speak the language first before you can study. After that, I hope I can do a course to be a mechanic.'
In the first five months of 2016, more than 33,000 migrants made the journey from North Africa to Italy. Of these, at least 5300 were unaccompanied minors (UAM). Photographer Chris de Bode met with nine UAMs living in shelters in Milan and Sicily and captured, not their despair, but their dreams in images that represented their hopes for their futures.

Object Name
Chris de Bode
Messina, Sicily
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50.8 x 67.91 cm (300 dpi)
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