High risk, high return: how Europe’s policies play into the hands of people-smugglers (2018)

The EU crackdown on human smuggling has only served to accelerate the cycle of desperate journeys, making them more perilous than ever – while enriching those who peddle dreams of a new life.

The Guardian, 20 June 2018; a German version was published in der Freitag, 26/2018.

Wijnand Nuijen: Shipwreck on a Rocky Coast (ca 1837), Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Interview met Chris de Stoop in Knac (2015)

Naamloos het graf in. Bootvluchtelingen: de body count van Fort Europa, in Knac magazine 29 april 2015, p. 38-41
Thomas Spijkerboer en zijn onderzoeksteam proberen de drenkelingen te registreren die aanspoelen op de Europese kusten. Velen worden nooit geïdentificeerd, krijgen een naamloos graf, en blijven voor hun familie vermist. ‘De echte kwestie is hoeveel doden wij aanvaardbaar vinden.’

Spectral Vessels (2015, with Theodore Baird and Paolo Cuttitta)

The idea of the ‘ghost ship’ suggests both the danger of a threatening cargo and mysterious migration routes. Powerful institutional agendas have acted to bolster the ‘ghost ship’ obsession. Such symbolism renders the specificities of Mediterranean migration opaque.

Spectral Vessels (with Theodore Baird and Paolo Cuttitta), in Open Democray, 17 Janaury 2015

Counting. The Human Costs of Border Control (Documentary by Pieter Boeles, 2014)

An impressive and moving short documentary about a search for traces of the fate of boat refugees in public registers. Nobody knows how many African boat refugees drowned during their attempt to reach Europe. A team of researchers from VU University Amsterdam investigated the death certificates in all the civil registries along the Mediterranean coast in order to trace the anonymous deceased and bring them back to public memory in a comprehensive data-base. In the documentary, two researchers are followed during their first visit to Malta. They realize that their project is about human dignity.