Mariusz Smiejek

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Location: Belfast
Nationality: Polish
Biography: Freelance documentary and portrait photographer. His work is dedicated to expose issues of post-conflict territories and societies. Mariusz lives in Belfast since 2011 and has been documenting a long term project about the transition and everyday... read on
Public Story
Dream Slaves
Credits: mariusz smiejek
Date of Work: 12/31/69 - Ongoing
Updated: 06/08/19

The olive season in Sicily ended in November, during the harvesting season, between September and November/December, around 1,500-2000 people living in the informal camp for seasonal workers. The camp is located next to the village Campobello di Mazara and has been around for few years, and it’s one of dozens camps in Italy.
After harvesting season it was shelter for dozens of people who use to live there permanently. They are mainly men, refugees, asylum seekers and migrants from Western African countries, they work on nearby farms, harvesting olives and other vegetables and fruits, for very low money.
Out of season there is not so much work, and most of them living as homeless and working occasionally, a few days a month, for local farmers. Most of people working at the farms came to Europe many years ago, some of them still doesn't have all Italians documents like refugee status or permissions to stay and work in Italy, they are waiting for it for more than 3 years.
At the beginning of 2018, local authorities decide to remove the camp and force homeless refugees and migrants to leave. After carabinieri demolished all tents and sheds, dozens of people from camp moved to abandoned houses and factories located around the village. So they are living now without access to water, electricity, bathroom and toilets.