Presseurop reproduced a commentary article by Dominic Johnson from the Berlin newspaper Taz (Die Tageszeitung) contrasting the sinking of the Costa Concordia (and the extensive media coverage) with the more common and numerous sinking of migrant boats. Without minimizing the loss of lives on board the Costa Concordia, and the ongoing efforts by Italian rescuers who continue to put their lives in danger as they search the wreckage, the striking contrast in the media coverage is worth noting.
Taz: “A boating accident with death is a human catastrophe, no matter where and when, and also no matter where the victims are from. … What happened to the cruise ship passengers is common to countless other travelers in the Mediterranean. Tens of thousands of people each year set out to sea on the Mediterranean, pushed into overcrowded fishing boats, inflatable boats, traveling in unseaworthy vessels, without adequate training or equipment without adequate navigation and catering. They do the unimaginable under precarious conditions, a journey which we take as a holiday in Germany, and pay for it at least as much money. … They are civil war and famine refugees, migrants and others from the countries south of the Mediterranean. … Hundreds if not thousands of them end up as nameless corpses at sea or on deserted rocky beaches. Thousands if not tens of thousands of them end up in the underworld of a crisis-ridden Europe, which has left them no room for humanity yet. The passengers on the ‘Costa Concordia’ are right to complain about [what has happened]. But many thousands of times over, the grief of the bereaved families of the victims of the sea of fortress Europe also deserve to be heard. The dead are among us, whether from luxury cruisers or from the fishing boat.” [Google translation from German]
Click here and here for articles from Die Tageszeitung. (DE)
2 responses to “Deaths at Sea: Tourists and Migrants”
Frightening stuff when the misery of some people becomes hidden and yet the misery of others is front page news. This reminds me of sociological debates about ‘non-people’; those poor individuals and groups who somehow step beyond the compassion of societies and even become/ are made invisible. It is essential that no one fall into the trap of losing the ability to recognise the basic human need to move from bad circumstances and try anything to make a better life for one’s family. There but for the grace of god, and all that …
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