Migrants caught in the net of immigration controls on their journeys are often buffeted by obstacles and dangers. But alongside these known risks of crossing borders, less often appreciated are the bonds of trust, even friendship, that are created along the way. The images on this page retrace the encounter between Mathilde, a French-German woman living in Marseille, and Ahmed, an Algerian travelling through the city on his journey from Algeria to England (see the map Sans travail ou sans papiers, le dilemme d’Ahmed in the Migreurop Atlas, soon available on line). When Ahmed leaves Marseille, Mathilde gives him a letter, a small sum of money, and piece of lava from Vesuvius to ‘cheer him up’ on his northward journey. The letter is still marked by the creases of the travels of Ahmed, who kept it intact despite the difficulties of the crossing from Calais to England. The letter is just one example among many welcoming, solidarity, fraternal or simply friendly actions born of an encounters with people on their migration journeys.
Map from : Migreurop (2017), Atlas des Migrants en Europe. Approches critiques des politiques migratoires, Paris, Armand Colin.
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- lettre de Mathilde à Ahmed