Heavily loaded

Cars belonging to Tunisian immigrants wait at the port to board the ferry that connects Palermo and Tunis Image copyright Eugenio Grosso

So far this year more than 35,000 people fleeing war and poverty in Africa are thought to have crossed to Europe, with many having died while attempting the journey. Yet on a Saturday the port of Palermo is full of cars loaded with goods heading the other way, from Italy to north Africa.

Photographer Eugenio Grosso took pictures of the heavily loaded cars, mainly belonging to Tunisian immigrants who gather to take a ferry to Tunis. Grosso says that some of them are travelling home for a holiday, while others are professional sellers who go back and forth each week, following in the footsteps of their ancestors.

Image copyright Eugenio Grosso

"All of them carry something to sell. Since the economic crisis hit Europe, numerous immigrants have lost their jobs. By reviving the old practice of sea trade, these people have created a new chance for business and an effective way to deal with the slump."

Image copyright Eugenio Grosso

"In the era of globalisation, when huge cargo ships move products from one corner of the world to another, these immigrants are modern safe-keepers of a much older custom."

Image copyright Eugenio Grosso

"As well as their products, these people bring along their traditions and knowledge, contributing to the ongoing creation of the Mediterranean culture."

Image copyright Eugenio Grosso
Image copyright Eugenio Grosso
Image copyright Eugenio Grosso
Image copyright Eugenio Grosso

You can see more work by Eugenio Grosso on his website.

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