Bird in Flight Prize ‘21 Finalist: Nowhere Near
Alisa Martynova, Russia
The migrant’s journey is a long one, night after night, inching toward the horizon like constellations. Not just typical stars, they are hyper-velocity stars, ejected at hyper speed by black holes, sprinkled across the cosmos by the force of their propulsion. And these scattered stars, in their crossing, are like the migrants that I met who had come from Nigeria, The Gambia, and Ivory Coast, across Europe, seeking El Dorado. In the choral testimony of the voices I collected, the celestial constellation is one of young Africans from different countries, of different genders and with different traits, a testament to the individuality and diversity that they each embody. Some young migrants aimed to reach Libya from southern countries, often finding a dead end in prison. Others aimed at Europe’s El Dorado; many found it, despite sacrifices, its promise intact. Others met a dreadful reality — the dream they had long harbored, treasured on those endless nights of travel, shattered.
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