by Violeta Santos Moura
The situation of the Eritreans is, just like citizens of several other countries in the Horn of Africa, of emergency, with thousands of people fleeing from their country of origin.
In Eritrea, political upheavals led to the suspension of the Constitution and to a general climate of fear for those who oppose the regime and its authoritarian impositions.
For those who tries to escape, its known in advance that there is a firing order if they are intercepted at the borders. Still, there are several thousand Eritreans fleeing, being the African country with the largest asylum application in Europe both in 2015 and 2016.
In Unwelcome, by Violeta Santos Moura is documented in a transversal way, the fragile situation of these migrants in Israel, the other great alternative to Europe.
It is estimated to be about 30 000 Eritrean living in Israel. But they’re not welcome.
There are few asylum applications granted by Israel to these citizens, which choose instead to renew their visas for short periods, while not allowing them to work or resort to social benefits. After a certain period of time migrants are forced to be move to detention centers for illegal immigrants, with precarious conditions, with no freedom of movement and no access to work. Other times they are invited to voluntarily leave Israel to another African country, with a small financial incentive and promises of residence visas that very often do not correspond to the truth, staying the vast majority of these people, and once again, in the hands of smugglers who will take them again on routes of escape and despair.
In this relevant work, Violeta Santos Moura, traverses this situation with a close and critical eye, which at the same time that accompanies daily life and obstacles lived by different groups of Eritreans of several generations, also clearly and objectively reflects the lack of integration, the segregation and extreme fragility that these migrants are subjected to, being surely unwanted, and becoming this feeling a constant that accompanies them throughout a difficult path taken.