Society for Cultural Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
Since 2015, the expression the “funnel effect of immigration” has been used to describe the drastic increase in numbers of people arriving in Italy, turning the peninsula into the main gateway to Europe. This expression also points to the contradictions at the heart of the European Union’s decisions on how to manage the “refugee crisis” and the front line role played by the Italian government and civil society. In this paper, I reflect upon the disembarkation procedures that people rescued at sea go through when they arrive at Italian ports. I approach the sbarco (disembarkation) as an assemblage of techniques that mirror sovereign power’s modalities. I then trace the emergence of worlds beyond the scrutiny of the port, such as the informal settlements in Southern Italy, and artists’ installations created with the debris left over from the shipwrecks. By paying attention to minor details that exceed the sbarco in the form of traces, a different account of movement and experience may become possible.