Exstracomunit / Christian Sinibaldi


Thousands of migrants continue to arrive in Italy, crossing the Mediterranean Sea by boat and risking their lives to reach Europe.


They come mainly from the Africa. Since 2002 MSF has established a project in Lampedusa, one of the main entry doors to Europe.

There have been a number of “tragic landings” reported, with an unknown number of deaths. Although migration has become a structural phenomenon in Italy, reception conditions for these people have not markedly improved and the living conditions for undocumented migrants are usually extremely difficult. Even though high numbers of boat arrivals continue to be foreseen, access to care for illegal migrants still remains a mirage in various parts of the country. 

In October 2013, within striking distance of the shore, a boat capsized. More than 360 would-be migrants were drowned.

The name Exstracomunit comes from the misspelled word found on a grave inside the island’s graveyard, where the unnamed bodies found at sea are buried. The correct Italian word is Extracomunitari, meaning ‘Non-EU’ or, more simply, migrant.

Postscript: We produced this copy in the latter part of 2014 since when of course the world has become all too aware of Lampedusa and the migrant / refugee crisis.