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Refugee Tracks

Migration stories from the railways at the borders of Italy

About the project

Italy, once a nation of migrants, sometimes forgets that this remains its status. Today, the country has also become a point of arrival for the many asylum seekers and economic migrants who attempt to start a new life abroad. The idea of the project is to relate  the stories of past-generation Italians,who migrated to Northern Europe by train, to the new flows of migration we witness passing through our country.

Migrations, train tracks and borders: this is Refugee Tracks, a 5 episode web documentary,  focusing on  railways serving as borders and the stories behind them.[Most of us have  watched the footage of trains deporting prisoners to Auschwitz, and today we witness modern migrations and the perils of migrants along the tracks (in the Balkans, as in Italy or in Mexico, among others)]. Tracks are the easiest footprints to follow for people who don’t know the area. The number of migrant victims ran over by trains every year, remains obscure. Refugee Tracks,  a unique look onto Italian borders and how they changed in time, is an honour to these victims and their memory, as well as the migrants who have followed tracks for decades.

Termini TV is an online channel dedicated to the narration of people we encounter in railway stations. As an independent channel with no sponsor or ownership, the 300 videos which we have already produced are all viewable online for free. This is why we’re now asking for your help, to take you where few people go, to delve deeper into the stories which never make it to the headlines.

Our journey starts on the eastern borders, that once served as a door between the Communist block and the Western world: Trieste, Nova Gorica and the forgotten tracks of the times when Italy wanted to become a colonial power. We will then move to Tarvisio, Brennero and Domodossola, a passing point for those desperate Italian migrants who travelled to Belgium or Germany. All the way to the North Western border with France, we will explore the drastic changes of the train tracks which have taken place there, reflecting on the new borders Italy and France had agreed on. It is these borders where migrants have started to perish again today, in the darkness of train tunnels and largely deprived of documents proving their existence.

What are the funds for?

The funds raised thanks to this campaign will be used to:

  1. trips along the borders for 3 people
  2. reimbursement for research, filming and editing
  3. social media marketing

About the project owner

Francesco Conte is a professional journalist since 2009. He published two travel books (on Brazil and on Libya) and he produced a documentary (on natural disasters in the Philippines). He's a cum laude graduate in Political Science and Philosophy. In 2014 he founded TerminiTV.

TerminiTV is an online channel dedicated to the narration of people we encounter in railway stations. We already produced more than 300 videos already, all viewable online for free, as we are an independent channel with no sponsor or ownership. This is why we’re asking for your help now, so that we can take you where few people go, in order to discover little known stories behind everyday’s headlines.