Doctor Pietro Bartolo gave UNU-GCM’s 2017 Annual Guest Lecture on Saturday, November 18th in Barcelona. The lecture was entitled “Let’s not think of them as clandestine migrants”.
In her introductory remarks, the UNU-GCM Director Prof. Parvati Nair framed the 2017 Annual Guest Lecture and related evening events, around the need to highlight the “Human cost of poor global governance of migration and the urgency of addressing this gap, in the name of human rights and basic decency.’
The Newdigate prize-wining British poet Dominic Hand began the evening with a reading of three specially commissioned works inspired by the issues raised by Dr. Bartolo’s work. Introducing his collection, Mr. Hand described the poems as being concerned with, “The problems of perceiving others in the midst of a migration crisis, particularly the problems of responding to events which most of us bear little, or no, proximal witness to. And to the vital ways in which language and thought are bound up in that response.”
Dr. Pietro Bartolo then took to the stage to share his experiences from over three decades of providing migrants, who have arrived on the island of Lampedusa, with both medical and humanitarian assistance.
As Prof. Parvati forewarned, the content of Dr. Bartolo’s talk, “Will not be easy to take in and nor will it make us feel at ease but then that, I think, is precisely the point. There is a critical situation in the Mediterranean and other parts of the world with regard to migrants and refugees. To be unsettled by the realities often faced by these people, is only correct and right, because only then will we as citizens and voters make the right choices …”
Article reprinted with the permission of UNU-GCM. Visit the institute’s website to view Dr. Bartolo’s presentation.