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Greatness, self-portrait

"In desert there is no house. You can’t see house in desert. We just sleep outside. Back then they would load us like 50, 20, in the Helios [truck]. There would not be space for you to stand or move. So anybody that fall down, they are not going to wait for him, that person will just die there. Because of the sand there is no water, no food. We spent the nights on the sand, it was very very cold. Back home in Nigeria the sand is very good. There is no cold, no hot. Very good. We do spread clothes on it, and sleep on it. We don’t need to go inside because the sand will be okay." This image was taken as part of the Voice of Freedom workshop in Asti, Italy, working with ten Nigerian women trafficked through Libya to Italy.   Photo: self-portrait, Greatness, courtesy of Voice of Freedom. 

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Okungbowa Osamude

"That wall reminds me of those days when we were in Libya, of the prison I told you about, how we can’t escape. We have to see the brightness of the sun through a hole, and even money cannot pass through that hole. Nothing can pass through it. It’s under the gate and the men give us biscuits, just something that will sustain us for that day. It was not easy. I told you how I was trafficked, how I was being kidnapped. They were asked for ransom to pay back, a huge ransom. It was more than the money that we bring. The emotion of the building, the way that I took the picture, it shows that it’s a prison, it’s where people have been trapped. You’ll just be there, not going out. No food, nothing. So that’s what the building reminds me a lot about. It’s really important, it’s one of my favourites." This image was taken as part of the Voice of Freedom workshop in Asti, Italy, working with ten Nigerian women trafficked through Libya to Italy. The title of the photograph refers to the name of the individual who took the photograph, and not the figure therein.  Photo: Okungbowa Osamude, courtesy of Voice of Freedom.

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Efe Bella

"This how we sit when we are transported. This is how we sit in Libya; we don’t go out. In the truck. Always. In the Lampadusa [boat] this is how we sit for the whole journey. They are moving you from here to here, and this is how you have to sit, so many people together. In this position it is very bad. It is like being a slave. In the boat, if I had fallen in I would never had survived." This image was taken as part of the Voice of Freedom workshop in Asti, Italy, working with ten Nigerian women trafficked through Libya to Italy. The title of the photograph refers to the name of the individual who took the photograph, and not the figure therein.  Photo: Efe Bella, courtesy of Voice of Freedom.

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Omo Colis

"Back in Nigeria anytime I wanted to pluck mango, this is how I pluck it. I had a farm from when I was 13 years old. My grandmother gave me the land because no money, no one go to school. So they give me the land. I cleared the land, plant cassava, plant mango. I went there to harvest it, then I sell it and get some money so I will take care of my brother, pay for his school fees. That is why I hold this tree. Anytime I see this picture I will remember. The land was far. Maybe if I didn’t have anything to do at home I would go to the farm, clear it there, clean the farm. I use cassava to make fufu or fry gari. Then I do palm oil. So from there we sold them. After that there is not a lot of money... even the land, if I plant fruit nothing will go well. So someone came in order to help me, so that I can go to school and a lot of things. From there they took me, this person, I didn’t even know that he want to sell me at Libya. Then he sell me from there, then another person sell me." This image was taken as part of the Voice of Freedom workshop in Asti, Italy, working with ten Nigerian women trafficked through Libya to Italy. The title of the photograph refers to the name of the individual who took the photograph, and not the figure therein.  Photo: Omo Colis, courtesy of Voice of Freedom.

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Stef

"I took this photo because it’s my shoes. I separated them and if you watch carefully it’s two different shoes. One is rotten and the other it’s a little bit new. It signifies my feet, and my feet signify my journey—one behind and one ahead. The one behind represents back then—Nigeria, Libya—it was so horrible, and that’s why you see that rotten shoe. If you check properly, the colour, the way it is, shows it was so… It’s something that reminds me of so much pain and it’s hard. It has to be behind me. The one at the front is life—this is my current stay in Europe. You understand, it’s a step I have to take: one behind and one in the front." This image was taken as part of the Voice of Freedom workshop in Asti, Italy, working with ten Nigerian women trafficked through Libya to Italy. The title of the photograph refers to the name of the individual who took the photograph, and not the figure therein.  Photo: Stef, courtesy of Voice of Freedom.