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Rome, 2014 03 27: Selam Palace is a squatted empty huge building in the outskirts of Rome. Its inhabitants are long term refugees and asylum seekers coming from the Horn of Africa (Erithrea, Somalia, Ethiopia) and Sudan; some of them, a population of about 800, are residents but seasonally, when migrants wave from North Africa to Italy across the mediterranean sea, the population increases up to 2500 units, many of them being separate foreign minors travelling through Italy to North European countries like Sweden, France or Germany, to join their relatives or to meet better inmigration policies. Here, a 6 people family is portraited in his ca. 10 sq. meters, no windows "apartment" for which they have paid a "rent" while they had enough money; after they hadn't, they were not allowed from the "owner" to use anymore common toilets. The man - whose surname is italian - is the grandson of an italian man who migrated to Eritrea during the fascist occupation of Eastern Italian Africa (Africa Orientale Italiana) in the 20's of the XX century; he married an eritrean woman and they came back to Italy with their family because of poverty and the repression of President Isaias Afewerki's regime. After a while, they have left Selam Palace to another squatted building where they've found a huger, comfortable and windowed space to live and where the children can attend more easily to their daily life and school homework. The baby portraited with his mom was born in january 2014, when temperature was decreasing low to 3-4°C during the night.
- © 2014 Gaetano Di Filippo - World Copyright, all rights reserved.
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- Selam Palace: the invisible city