Remains of a Journey

Left behind in the large cayucos or smaller pateras that brought them, the belongings of would-be immigrants from the Western shores of Africa to the Canary Islands
remain deserted and forgotten.

Cayuco

Glove

Note paper

Coffee tin

Arabic books

Torch, cigarettes

Jeans

Misbaha and bag

Jacket

Biscuits

Driftwood

Food

Woolly hat

Jeans and trainer

Cloth

Cooking pot

Cashew nuts

Plastic cups

Trainers

Rubber boot

Book

Patera

Shirt

Trainer

Bag

Clothes

Biscuit wrapper

Bottle

Pills

Towel

Rubber gloves

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For weeks at a time, while the local authorities decide how best to dispose of the boats, these possessions lie rotting, remnants of a bleak and harsh journey that for many
results in death and a daily reminder of the once crucial part they played in the transition from one life to another.
The paraphernalia seen here is not scattered by the strong
winds of the ocean, but discarded and abandoned purposely, unwanted at the journeys end, to be replaced by western equivalents. Some are distinct, unmistakably belonging
to a life they chose to leave behind. Others more familiar, physically or emotionally necessary.

But perhaps they raise questions too. Is anything to be read into the number 15 written on a piece of driftwood? Does it signify the number of people who have fallen overboard,
weakened by harsh weather, or those who have been cast off already dead ? The jeans that hang on the side of the boat – have they been laid out simply to dry or were they rescued
from the body of a now gone companion, to be used for added warmth by a new owner? The books so undeniably rejected, as if the courage provided by their contents was sufficient?

As the boats sink to the seabed new stories begin for the lives of the people that left a grim journey behind.
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