Theatre, some people have no rights either alive or dead: here's how to restore identity and dignity to migrants who drown at sea

Theatre, some people have no rights either alive or dead: here's how to restore identity and dignity to migrants who drown at sea

MILAN - From Faceless castaways (Raffaello Cortina PublisherPremio Galileo 2019) written by forensic anthropologist Cristina Cattaneo, a theatrical reading is scheduled at the Grassi Little Theatre of Milan, from 20 to 25 June, curated by Laura Curino and Renato Sarti. The show is produced by Cooperative Theater. The text tells the drama of the shipwrecks in the Mediterranean from the point of view of those who work to restore identity and dignity to the refugees who died at sea, through autopsy analyzes and autopsies. It's rare to stop and think about the suffering of someone who has a loved one, who has embarked on a journey in search of a better future and doesn't know if he made it, if he's okay, if he'll ever see him again.

The feeling of relatives of those who disappear. Is called "ambiguous loss” (ambiguous loss) the feeling felt by relatives of missing persons, a mourning that cannot be elaborated, because there is no presence of a body to confirm their death. If we add regulatory gaps and institutional defaults, the possibility of having an answer becomes even more remote; anger is added to the pain and the problem also becomes social. This is the context in which the Labanof, Forensic Anthropology and Odontology Laboratory of the University of Milandirected by Cristina Cattaneo, anthropologist, forensic doctor and author of Faceless castaways.

Labanof's crusade. This authentic crusade, also assisted by various voluntary organizations, the Navy and the International Red Cross, is told in the book through the shipwrecks of October 2013 and April 18, 2015. In the latter case, the ship sank with about nine hundred people on board and the crew of the Labanof he carried out autopsy analyzes on the 566 recovered bodies, cataloged the clothes and objects found and put the results at the service of the families of the missing, to allow them to identify the victims. The Labanof managed to perform a small miracle: «return a story, an identity? and even dignity" to the nameless victims of shipwrecks in the Mediterranean. Now it is essential that politics play his part and the "Labanof paradigm" become practice at national and European level.

The role of show producers. Since the foundation the Cooperative Theater has dealt with migration, proposing shows related to this theme (The ghost ship in 2004, the Gassman Prize; Serveby and with Marco Rovelli e Mohamed Banel 2009; M'biraby Roberto Castello, Ubu 2019 award finalist) and often employing immigrant actors and actresses in Italy (A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Very Tragic Story of Pyramus and Thisbe, Chicago boys). It is to give continuity and greater depth to this commitment, felt as necessary, that Renato Sarti has decided to write and produce, in collaboration with Cristina Cattaneo, a theatrical version of the book Faceless castaways.

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