Session 1: Pirates of the Central Mediterranean


The European states have created a zone at their margins, where all their proclaimed values, their human and civil rights are suspended: A state of exception that reduces the sea to a weapon, people to bargaining chips - and the fluid southern border of the European Union to the deadliest migration route in the world. This is where activists organized to respond immediately in a solidary way. What can we learn from the brief history of thousands of years of migrations in the Mediterranean and that of six years of civil sea rescue?

Let’s learn together

Step 1: Words we think with (30 mins)

Hand out post-it papers (the bigger ones). Ask participants to write words or phrases that come to their mind for each of the following concepts: piracy, migration, duty to rescue, socially organized death, freedom of movement, humanitarian crisis, solidarity; one after another, giving them 3 minutes for each. Assemble papers by theme (concept), sticking them to a wall.

Step 2: Let’s watch and read (70 mins)

Participants read:

And watch the following videos:

Step 3: New meanings? (45-60 mins)

Repeat the process from Step 1. Then look back at two sets of post-its (those made before reading and watching, and those made after); give participants 15-20 minutes to reflect and discuss these concepts and how their thinking about them has been changed by the reading, in small groups. Have the groups report to the full group (sitting in a circle if viable). Randomize who is speaking by using a speaking-ball, if viable. Let the speakers freely pass the ball to whomever wants to add on what is being said; moderate the discussion in terms of relevance but allow personal accounts if they happen.