Migrants’ Belongings

After the Jasmine Revolution, thousands of Tunisians left home in search of a better life in Europe. Crossing the Mediterranean by boat and travelling up through Italy, the journeys of many were interrupted at the border town of Ventimiglia. Immigrants boarded trains to cross into France, but were picked up by police down the line and sent back, once, twice or ten times. Hundreds were sleeping rough, with no money left for train tickets, or food. Unsure of their final destinations, or when they would arrive, the men had packed light to avoid being suspected as illegal immigrants. What had they brought with them for such a long, uncertain journey? Several had had their bag stolen or confiscated on the way but, among their few possessions, a toothbrush, face cream or a French-Arabic dictionary can make the travels of an immigrant seem suddenly personal.