This one of the questions which, since the winter of 2005, has caught, more or less explicitly, the interest of Senegalese newspapers and magazines, driving to the production of several newspaper articles and photographic reportages on the phenomenon of “boat migrations” or migrations piroguières (gaalu looco or mbëkkmi in Wolof).
When talking about “boat migrations” we refer to the phenomenon that involved thousands of Senegalese and other people coming, from Western African countries, predominantly male, who set off for the Spanish archipelago of the Canary Islands from the Senegalese, Mauritanian or Gambian coasts. They risk their lives to “gagner l’Europe” (Cesti 2007; Mbow & Tamba 2007; Diop 2008). Many of them, without any regular expatriation document for Europe, have been forcibly repatriated, following forty days of detention.
Picture 1. Routes to Canary Islands from Africa
(Hernàndez Carretero 2008)
During the last few years, the phenomenon of mi...