This is the first episode of New Lines magazine’s Wider Angle, a weekly podcast that features engaging, spirited conversations on a variety of important themes in culture and politics in societies around the world. The show’s host, Riada Asimovic Akyol, interviews fascinating guests who offer diverse perspectives and a wider angle of view. You can listen to the podcast here, on New Lines’ website, or on your favorite app, and also watch the video of the conversation on the magazine’s YouTube channel. A new episode drops every Wednesday.
This week, Riada speaks with the award-winning journalist and photographer Sally Hayden about the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean and across North Africa. Hayden is the author of “My Fourth Time, We Drowned: Seeking Refuge on the World’s Deadliest Migration Route,” which won the Orwell Prize for Political Writing in 2022 as well as the Michel Déon Prize the same year.
They discuss Hayden’s observations about “systemic issues destroying lives” and the findings of her investigation, based on interviews with hundreds of refugees and migrants inside Libyan detention centers. These refugees from different parts of Africa — who are seeking safety and protection in Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea — have faced horrendous challenges and human rights abuses while stuck in Libya, after the European Union started funding interceptions to stem migration in 2017. From trafficking to enslavement and sexual abuse, Hayden elaborates on the EU’s “ethical culpability” for forcibly turning away the refugees, the corruption of the United Nations, the effect and place of technology as “both a blessing and a curse” for the migrants and the disastrous mental health consequences of forced migration, exploitation and the dehumanization of mostly poverty-stricken, traumatized migrants.
In her book, Hayden writes:
“History is written by the victors. Victims who survive often do not have the strength to stand up and rewrite the narrative, or the power to make sure their voices are counted. Will there ever be a museum commemorating those who died in the Mediterranean Sea or in Libya? And where will it be — in Europe? In Africa?”
Listen to the conversation to hear the wider angle of facts and stories that we are told about the migration, which Hayden asserts is “one of the greatest challenges to humanity in the 21st century.” It is available wherever you get your podcasts, and you can also watch the conversation on New Lines magazine’s YouTube channel here.
“Wider Angle” is produced and hosted by Riada Asimovic Akyol.