Isola Ponte (Bridge Island)

Isola Ponte (Bridge Island)

isola ponteThe influx of asylum seekers does not ebb for holidays like Christmas (despite how shocking it might be to think of groups of people who have managed to avoid planning their schedules around Christmas, or any Chrisitian holiday for that matter). This triviality seems to have been lost on the Italians responsible for both processing asylum seeker claims and transporting refugees to detention centers on the peninsula. As a result, the reception center on the island of Lampedusa, which normally has room for 381 guests, was 600 strong on the 19th of December (6 full days prior to Christmas mind you). Lampedusa’s mayor, Guisy Nicolini, insisted that Lampedusa is an isola ponte, or bridge island, for asylum seekers – a landing site, a place of reception and first aid. Nicolini justified the necessity for Lampedusa’s reception center to remain empty so as to be better equipped at receiving those coming to it’s shores. Pragmatically speaking, asylum seekers do not intend to remain on the island Lampedusa but capitalize on its proximity to North Africa as an entry point to Europe. However, there is something interesting in the notion of offloading a group of individuals and making them someone else’s problem; there is something unnervingly bureaucratic about it. Then again, it is sensible to replenish one’s resources in order to be of continued service. Let’s hope that this Bridge Island will be a portal to better place (and a not U-Turn like it has been in the past).

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One thought on “Isola Ponte (Bridge Island)

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