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Words Of Migrants (Paroles de Migrants)

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Original Language: French | 320 pp. | April 2019

2 Seas represents: Dutch, Nordic and English (US & Canada) rights

NON-FICTION| TESTIMONY

Deeply moving testimonies highlighting the dysfunctions and changes of the world, but also unique individual journeys and universal aspirations.

For the last three years, Pauline Bandelier has followed several immigrants arriving in Europe, while they waver in between disillusion, regret and hope. She has also met with several unaccompanied minors, who arrived alone and who have since found places to stay and who now go to school.

These are journeys “brave, often painful, sometimes exceptional” as Pauline Bandelier puts it, that show the abundance and diversity of the human experience that the political speeches or articles, talking about the “the migrant crisis”, do not take into account.

Since the nineties, immigration has become a global problem, to which we must find solutions. « In a world where yearning for migration flows has never been bigger (…), the need to erect walls has never been stronger » said international migration specialist Catherine Wihtol de Wenden.

While legal migration routes narrow, the routes used become longer, pass through many countries, and sometimes end up far away from the initial destination. The way back is even less conceivable after such a journey.

With a lot to teach us, these modern odysseys, that are not going to stop anytime soon, make us question ourselves, our values and the world that we want to live in.

Pauline Bandelier is an independent journalist. She has lived in China, England and United-States and works for RFI, AFP, M-Le Monde mag and Libération. From February to March 2016, she took part to the first sea rescue missions of the boat SOS Méditerranee, the Aquarius, in order to collect survivors’ testimonies. An experience which is the starting point of this book.