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Lampedusa Project

June 2012- March 2013
co-financed by Open Society Foundations - Fondazione lettera27

The Lampedusa In Festival was established in 2009 following protests against the institution of a ‘Center for Identification and Expulsion’ (CIE) on the island and the formation of a support movement for arriving migrants.  The Askavusa Association, born out of those events, launched the idea of a Festival that would bring new cultural stimuli onto the island and would, at the same time, be able to communicate to young people the historical experience of migration in the Mediterranean.  In its support for migrants, Askavusa is supported by a network of civic associations such as the Rete dei comuni solidali (“Network of Comunes for Solidarity”), the Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione (“Association of Legal Studies on Immigration”), Legambiente and the ARCI, a list that has continued to grow as other national and international supporters have gradually joined in. 

General Objective:
To open spaces for a new way of listening to migrants’ memories and of giving visibility to the voices and self-representations of migrants.

Specific Objectives:
To support the existing repository of material traces of the migrants’ passage into a Documentation Centre or LAM (Library/Archive/Museum) able to transform the image of Lampedusa, through activities of communication and advocacy, from a place of emergency and foreign invasion to a symbolic place in which the memory of discrimination can help bring to light new forms of human relationships and the recognition of mutual rights between people of different origins. We want to make such a center an outpost for the transmission of  migrat memories, a small and symbolic “Ellis Island” that can be visited, in person and online, by migrants that went through the island and, in the future, by their descendants. The main aim is to build an open museum bottom-up with the help of local people and institutions and the participation of migrants.


Since 9 February 2013 the Museum project has been endorsed by the Mayor of Lampedusa, the Conmander of the Port, and UNHCR. A formal agreement is being undersigned by the local authorities with the initial group of promoters which include Askavusa, AMM, Archivio Storico Lampedusa, MAS Media, Progetto Isole, LIMEn, University of Rome, University of Naples “L’ORIENTALE”.