Notes on a Shipwreck
On the Italian "island of an island," Lampedusa, playwright Davide Enia explores the vast landings--and devastating shipwrecks--of refugees fleeing Libya, Syria, Somalia and other terror-filled places. He experiences landings and speaks with the migrants, as well as volunteer rescue workers, doctors, divers and others involved in the first responses. He pieces together their stories to create an affecting glimpse of this nightmarish reality that exists in the midst of the Mediterranean. As Enia explains of his own realization, "Coming face-to-face with someone directly involved in these matters called everything into question--my preconceptions, the categories I use, even the way I think." Notes on a Shipwreck will have his readers doing the same.
Part journalistic report, part memoir, Enia also weaves in an element of the relationships he has with his father and uncle. His father accompanies him to Lampedusa, and the journey teaches Enia as much about their bonds as it does refugees.
Passionate and compassionate, Notes on a Shipwreck examines the refugee crisis from various angles. Some horrific--recovering dead children from the sea--others hopeful, like the volunteer who reports, "I've seen people dance and kiss the ground the minute they disembark, I've seen others pray... and others clap and stamp out a rhythm with their hands and feet. I have beautiful memories." They are all insightful and all worthy of attention. Enia's intensely personal voice and his poetic language engage his audience in a difficult subject, producing a powerful result. --Jen Forbus