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Más que la Luna al Sol: Remembering and Honoring Africans who died trying to reach Europe.

Credit: Massimo Sestini Photography.

Context:

Since 2014, 3986 Africans have perished in the Atlantic migration route to the Canary Islands. Used by thousands of migrants since 1994, deaths have been recorded each year since 1999 by journalists, advocacy groups, and, since 2014, by the Missing Migrants Project. The route to the Canary Islands is extremely hazardous due in large part to the length of the overseas journey and lack of dedicated search-and-rescue capacity. Those deaths are part of a bigger context, where more than 20,000 migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean sea into
Europe have died since 2014.

Ansou and Moussa survived. Ansou finally had his working permit approved in 2023 and work on a construction site. He hasn´t been able to go back to Senegal yet. Moussa took 10 years to reach Europe, he was deported twice back to Guinee, three times from Algeria to Morocco, and was kidnapped once between Mauritania and Niger. He works installing solar panels around Spain. He hasn’t ‘been able to go back to Guinee yet.

«Más que la luna al sol»:

Moussa is a fisherman and knows how to swim
The only one on the flimsy boat, who knows how to swim
And still he only sees the terror of the night
Ansou, by his side, is only 16
He is brave, although he does not stop shaking in the cold
He can only see with the multitude of waves
The demons of the afterlife coming for his soul
Another two days’ left
Some Brothers died
And went into the deepness of the seas
Spain or Death
Barça wala Barsakh (*1)
Madrid wala Morgue (*2)
Dawn arises
A sunrise in the horizon
Moon and Sun
Showing up for life
Dancing together
Illuminating their path
Ansou, do you know why sunsets and sunrises are so beautiful?
They are because it is the only moment
Where Moon and Sun connect in love and power
Loving each other for billions of years

Separated by their role of taking care of Earth
Moon takes care of Earth at night
Sun takes care of Earth at day
A love so deep, separated everyday
To commune in love for Earth and for us
At each sunrise and every sunset
The Moon loves the Sun more than the Sun loves the Moon
So when you see in the sky the Moon in the daylight
Longing for the next day to meet Sun before sunrise
To embrace their power and love again
Know that our power, faith and love for life
Are bigger than the Moon loves the Sun
Es más que la Luna al Sol
Más que la Luna al Sol (*3)

(*1) Spain or Death in Wolof.
(*2) Madrid or the morgue in wolof.                           

(*3) More than the moon to the sun.

Author: Esther Mamadou.

Esther Mamadou

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