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Giacomo Sini

Livorno, Italy
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About Giacomo
Giacomo Sini is a journalist/photojournalist based in Livorno, Italy.

Giacomo born in Pisa, (Italy) in 1989 but has always been living in Livorno. In 2014 he obtained a degree in social sciences at Pisa University. By several years of work, has passed through fifty countries documenting their social and political realities. Passionate about the Middle East and Central Asia, has shooted many times the realities of conflict in Syria, Lebanon and Kurdistan. He is interested mostly in refugee’s stories from conflict and post conflict areas and cultural reports. His works have been published in The Guardian, Vice Magazine, El Pais, Neon Stern Magazine, L'Express, Humanité Dimanche, Venerdì Repubblica, D Repubblica, Il Manifesto, Internazionale, Fq Millennium (Fatto Quotidiano), Corriere del Ticino, NZZ, Die Zeit, Taz, National Geographic, The New Internationalist, Al Jazeera, Freitag, Der Spiegel.
Languages
Corsican English Spanish
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Services
Documentaries Feature Stories Photography
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Skills
Politics Current Affairs War Reporter
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Portfolio

Turkey bombs Kurdish areas in Syria, adding more chaos to the Middle East

13 Oct 2023  |  publico.es
Following an attack on the Turkish Ministry of Interior on October 5, Turkey has launched a military operation targeting Kurdish territories in northern and eastern Syria, accusing the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) of the attack. This operation mirrors a previous one in November 2022 after an Istanbul bombing. Turkey considers the Kurdish Women's Protection Units (YPJ) and People's Protection Units (YPG) as extensions of the PKK, which is labeled a terrorist group by Turkey, the US, and the EU. The recent Turkish attacks have caused significant infrastructure damage, including power plants, oil stations, water stations, and COVID-19 hospitals, and have exacerbated a humanitarian crisis in the region. The international community has been criticized for its silence and inaction.

Being a shepherdess in Palestine, amidst Israeli settlements

08 Sep 2023  |  bonpourlatete.com
Naser Qadous of Anera, an American NGO, and Nariman Deik, a program coordinator, discuss their work supporting social inclusion and empowerment of women in Palestine, particularly divorced women at risk of social isolation. They highlight the story of Alayeh Shoaybi, a shepherdess in Deir Ghassane, who has benefited from their program. The article describes the challenges faced by Palestinians due to Israeli settlements and military occupation, including restricted access to land and mobility. It also mentions recent Israeli government decisions to expedite settlement planning in the West Bank, overseen by ultranationalist Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, and the increase in Israeli settler population over the past 50 years.

Electoral Silence in the Face of Deaths in the Mediterranean

12 Jul 2023  |  catalunyaplural.cat
The article discusses the lack of attention given to the ongoing migrant crisis in the Mediterranean during the recent electoral debates in Spain. It highlights the tragic death of an eight-month-old baby, Lilia, whose family drowned while fleeing Algeria. The article critiques the predominant focus on control and regulation over human rights in the migration policies of Spain's main political parties. It contrasts the harsh stances of right-wing parties like Vox with the more humanitarian approaches of left-wing parties like ERC and EH Bildu. Despite the frequent tragedies, the issue has received minimal attention in the electoral discourse.

Much more than Vinicius: embracing the foreign

26 Jun 2023  |  catalunyaplural.cat
European research and Eurostat highlight that natives' discomfort with foreigners is not due to religious or cultural ideas but rather their lifestyle, such as eating, dancing, and sexuality. Famous individuals can bring attention to persistent issues like racism, which has been historically ignored by Spanish sports authorities. A FAD study indicates that 25% of Spanish youth harbor xenophobic ideas, fueled by the far-right. The article argues that racism and misogyny are discursive constructs that define social ties and roles. It contrasts the resources allocated to rescue the Titan submersible with the lack of effort to prevent a migrant shipwreck near Greece. The text suggests that sanctioning and education are necessary but insufficient, advocating for personal engagement and collective activities to foster acceptance and coexistence.

In the Tuscan coastal city of Livorno, a social project matches young migrants with elderly residents in need of help or companionship.

05 Apr 2023  |  euronews
The article discusses the 'Riconoscerci Solidali' initiative in Livorno, Italy, where young migrants are paired with elderly residents to provide assistance and companionship. This social project, launched by the Mezclar22 association in collaboration with CESDI and funded by the Waldensian Church, aims to foster labor inclusion and solidarity. It allows young immigrants to earn an income, improve their Italian, and integrate into the community while increasing the autonomy of the elderly and creating intergenerational and intercultural relationships. The article highlights personal stories of participants like Maty from Senegal and Alma, an 82-year-old local, as well as Lannseny from Mali, illustrating the project's impact on their lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges, but the project's significance has been underscored as it helps break social isolation for the elderly during these times.

Natural and Unnatural Disasters in Rojava, NE Syria and SE Turkey

02 Mar 2023  |  Bella Caledonia
The article by Giacomo Sini and Alessia Manzi discusses the aftermath of the earthquake in Rojava, North and East Syria, and Bakur, Southeastern Turkey, highlighting the Turkish government's failures and the political context. It criticizes President Erdoğan and the AKP for negligence and corruption, which exacerbated the disaster's impact. The HDP provides insights into the lack of aid and rescue efforts. The article also covers the ongoing conflict between Turkey and Kurdish forces, the SDF's and YPJ's resistance against ISIS, and the impact of Turkish military operations on the region. It mentions the potential delay of Turkish elections due to the earthquake and the economic challenges Turkey faces. The article includes perspectives from various sources, including politicians, activists, and fighters, and references the role of international organizations and governments in the context of the disaster and the Syrian conflict.

In Calais, the determination of migrants: 'Tonight, if the weather is good, I will try to cross'

26 Nov 2021  |  lavenir.net
The article discusses the harsh conditions faced by migrants in Calais, France, as they attempt to cross into the United Kingdom. Despite the dangers, including increased border security and the recent tragedy where 27 people died in a shipwreck, migrants remain determined to reach England. The French and British governments have signed an agreement to further reinforce border security. Migrants live in precarious conditions, with limited access to water, food, and medical care, and face police violence. Protests and solidarity networks have emerged in response to the repression. The article also shares personal stories of migrants who have faced various hardships on their journey and continue to seek a better life.

Yoga and Sports with Refugees in Lesbos

18 Sep 2021  |  ilmanifesto.it
Yoga and Sports With Refugees, a non-profit organization, has been organizing sports activities for refugees since early 2018 in Lesbos and since September 2020 in Athens. Refugees from Afghanistan are responsible for activities in the capital, and the organization has involved thousands of people seeking a better life in Europe. The article describes the various sports offered, such as kickboxing, yoga, and Muay Thai, and highlights the stories of individuals like Hamid, a kickboxing coach, and Sohaila, a 16-year-old girl who is also a coach and social media coordinator. Despite the challenges faced by refugees, including living in camps and dealing with restrictions, the organization provides a space for them to engage in physical activities, find community, and maintain mental health.

Malta en Italië dringen aan op EU-migratiemechanisme

31 Dec 2020  |  Knack
Malta en Italië benadrukken de noodzaak voor een permanent mechanisme binnen de Europese Unie om de verdeling van migranten die via de Middellandse Zee aankomen te regelen. In 2020 arriveerden 1445 mensen op Malta vanuit Libië. Migranten zonder papieren worden in Malta opgevangen in screening centers en kunnen maximaal 70 dagen vastgehouden worden. Daarna biedt de staat huisvesting en een minimuminkomen. De opvangcentra zijn overbevolkt en de toegang tot het systeem is beperkt. NGO's mogen alleen opereren als ze herverdeling van migranten naar andere landen kunnen garanderen. De opvangomstandigheden in Malta zijn niet ideaal, en veel migranten eindigen in de bouwsector waar ze onder slechte omstandigheden werken.

Italian town saved by refugees fights government anti-immigration policy

31 Dec 2020  |  The National
The Italian town of Riace, known for its successful integration of refugees and migrants, is facing challenges from the new populist government. Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has ordered the transfer of all migrants in Riace to refugee centres and has blocked funds to the town, leading to a debt of €2 million. The town's Mayor Domenico Lucano, a proponent of the 'Riace model' of integration, was placed under house arrest on charges related to aiding illegal immigration. Residents of Riace have protested against the government's actions, fearing the dismantling of their community's efforts. The article highlights the tension between Salvini's anti-immigration stance and the inclusive approach of Riace, as well as the broader context of Italy's economic struggles and EU relations.

Villa Roth, the resurrection of an abandoned mansion thanks to the homeless

14 Sep 2020  |  El País América
Villa Roth, an abandoned 19th-century mansion in Bari, Italy, has become home to 40 people in need of shelter. Initially declared a cultural space in 1990, it was left in disrepair for 15 years until migrants, stranded after being moved from a camp in the city center, repurposed it into a self-managed community. Residents, including Moro from Ghana and Mimma, a local Italian, organize their lives through assemblies and reject traditional property ownership in favor of mutual support. The community is involved in initiatives like SfruttaZero, a tomato sauce project providing work for migrants and young precarious workers. The article highlights the challenges faced by asylum seekers in Italy, the ineffective institutional strategies for basic needs, and the solidarity efforts by the Bari community to support migrants.

The New Independence of African Harvest Workers in Italy

10 Sep 2020  |  www.furche.at
African harvest workers in Italy, who once faced exploitation, have found new independence through the cooperative Barikama. Founded in 2011 by young Africans, many of whom participated in the 2010 Rosarno uprising, the cooperative produces yogurt and vegetables, providing a means of escape from exploitation and fostering solidarity. The initiative also includes young Italians with Asperger's syndrome, exemplifying a social project rooted in mutual support and resistance.

Italy - Apulia's Slum

08 Sep 2020  |  www.freitag.de
Borgo Mezzanone in Apulia, Italy, is known as the country's largest illegal settlement, where seasonal workers are deprived of their rights and live in precarious conditions without electricity and water. The slum is home to at least three thousand people, including migrants from Africa and Eastern Europe, who are exploited in agricultural labor and, in some cases, forced into prostitution. Despite efforts to denounce the illegal recruitment and exploitation known as 'Caporalato,' little has changed. The Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL) and individuals like Yussef Bamba and Magdalena Jarczak are working to improve the situation by advocating for migrant rights and providing support. However, the recent regularization initiative has failed to significantly impact the lives of those living in the camps, as many are unable to obtain the necessary documentation to apply.

Boxing Sisters: a sports club to heal Yazidi refugees

04 Sep 2020  |  El País América
The Boxing Sisters project, initiated by the British non-profit organization Lotus Flower in 2018, aims to improve the physical and mental health of Yazidi refugee women in the Rwanga camp through boxing. Husna, a Yazidi refugee, has become a boxing trainer for her peers, transforming a small, dimly lit shack into a sports club. Despite the challenges of war, displacement, and the threat of ISIS, which enslaved many Yazidi women, the project has empowered participants. However, the spread of COVID-19 has halted their activities, and Husna is now focusing on her studies, aspiring to attend university. The future remains uncertain as the Yazidi homeland of Sinjar is still unsafe due to ongoing Turkish military operations, and Husna's family considers returning to rebuild their lives amidst the ruins.

Historic mansion became a haven for people in housing crisis

26 Aug 2020  |  ETC.se
Villa Roth, a historic mansion in Bari marked as a cultural building since 1990, has become a self-governed haven for people affected by the housing crisis, including migrants and Italian families. After being occupied by students, artists, and migrants, leading to an eviction in 2015, the local government allowed the empty rooms to be transformed into a collaborative space. The residents, including Moro from Ghana who fled to Libya and then crossed the Mediterranean, have found stability and community in Villa Roth. The collective is organized by a residents' council and is part of the national network Fuori Mercato. The article also touches on the broader issues faced by migrants in Italy, such as the inadequate reception system, protests for rights, and the struggle for a dignified living.

In Italy, the Migrant Cooperative

17 Jun 2020  |  Mediapart
Barikama, a cooperative founded by migrants including Cheikh from Senegal, has become a successful social enterprise in Italy. Starting with yogurt production in Rome, the cooperative won a contest for young entrepreneurs and expanded to cultivate vegetables, selling products at markets and to solidarity purchasing groups. All members earn equal salaries, and the cooperative provides employment contracts that help refugees obtain residency permits. Despite past exploitation in agriculture, members like Tony from Nigeria and Modibo from Mali have found stability and community through Barikama. The cooperative continued to operate during the COVID-19 crisis, meeting increased demand for vegetables and yogurt.

Barikama, the agricultural cooperative of exploited migrants that helps its neighbors in Italy

03 May 2020  |  El País América
Barikama, an agricultural cooperative in Italy founded by young African migrants in 2011, emerged from the Rosarno revolt against exploitation in citrus orchards. The cooperative, which means strength or resistance in the Malian dialect Bambara, is now on the front lines of Italy's battle against COVID-19, providing essential food deliveries to the community. With a base in Pigneto, Rome, Barikama cultivates six hectares of gardens and produces up to 200 liters of yogurt weekly. The cooperative's members, including Modibo, a Malian co-founder, and Cheikh, a former football player from Senegal, have found redemption in their work, which offers them a sense of purpose during the pandemic. They manage their finances carefully, aiming for autonomy and increased wholesale sales to ensure stable salaries.

‘A beautiful thing’: the African migrants getting healthy food to Italians

01 Apr 2020  |  www.theguardian.com
The article focuses on Barikama, a cooperative in Italy formed by young African immigrants, many of whom were part of the Rosarno revolt in 2010. The cooperative was started to provide a form of redemption from exploitation and is named after the Bambara word for 'strength' or 'resistance'. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of Barikama are working tirelessly to supply local households with vegetables and dairy products, as the demand has surged due to lockdowns. The cooperative, which began by making yogurt, now cultivates six hectares of land and produces up to 200 liters of yogurt a week. The members, including Modibo from Mali and Cheikh from Senegal, share the duties of fieldwork, deliveries, and market sales. They manage their finances carefully, aiming for autonomy and a stable salary for all members. Despite the hard work, they find joy in being useful to the community during these difficult times.

In Livorno, in the closed-off Italy

21 Mar 2020  |  Mediapart
Livorno, a city where the sea is a fundamental part of its identity, has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic with government decrees restricting movement since March 4, 2020. Despite a ban on gatherings, the feminist movement NonUnaDiMeno held a reduced protest on March 8. Local businesses like Bacci's market have seen a drop in customers, and public transport workers lack protective gear. The hashtag #AndraTuttoBene has inspired community solidarity through music and balcony gatherings. Many residents, including 69-year-old Stefania, are self-isolating, while others, like Patrizia and Tiziano, adapt to quarantine life. The ENI refinery continues to operate with safety measures, and workers across the region have gone on strike for safety and to halt non-essential production. The pandemic has disrupted plans for many, including 29-year-old Flora, who intended to work abroad. Solidarity groups, including one joined by 25-year-old Giulia, are supporting those who cannot or choose not to leave their homes.

A Good Occupied Christmas

20 Dec 2019  |  ETC.se
In Livorno, Italy, known as the 'eviction capital' due to its high rate of evictions, twenty homeless families occupied an abandoned high-rise three years ago, converting it into homes. This Christmas, they are fighting to defend their residence against eviction. The building, La Cigna, houses 110 people from 50 families, including Italian and African immigrants. The occupation, supported by the tenant and resident association ASIA-USB, was a response to Italy's severe housing crisis. A local court ordered the eviction, but a community protest prevented it. The families, experienced in collective struggle, remain determined to protect their homes.

The ‘Boxing Sisters’ of Rwanga refugee camp

24 Feb 2019  |  Al Jazeera
The article discusses the 'Boxing Sisters' initiative in the Rwanga refugee camp in northern Iraq, where Yazidi women displaced by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have found solace in boxing classes. The project, launched by the British non-profit organisation Lotus Flower, aims to improve the physical and mental health of female refugees affected by conflict and sexual violence. The program is gaining popularity, with plans to expand and train some of the women to become boxing trainers themselves. Husna, a 17-year-old participant, shares her harrowing experience of fleeing ISIL and finds a sense of safety and community among the Boxing Sisters.

Riace: The Italian Village Revitalized by Refugees Faces Political Hostility

27 Nov 2018  |  Progressive.org
The article discusses the village of Riace in southern Italy, which has gained international recognition for its welcoming approach to refugees, leading to a revitalization of the local economy and culture. The initiative, known as the 'Riace Model,' was spearheaded by Mayor Domenico Lucano, who was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of the most influential people in 2017. However, the new rightwing Italian government, particularly the Ministry of the Interior led by Matteo Salvini, has cut funding and support for the project, leading to a financial crisis for the welcoming program. Despite these challenges, including the arrest of Mayor Lucano for allegedly aiding illegal immigration, the residents of Riace are determined to continue their efforts to integrate migrants into their community.

Italy - News from the Donkey

22 Oct 2018  |  www.freitag.de
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has targeted the migrant-integrating village of Riace, forcing Mayor Domenico Lucano to leave his residence. A wave of solidarity formed on social media and in protests. Riace, with a history of migration dating back to ancient Greece, had successfully integrated hundreds of migrants from Central Africa and the Middle East with European funds. However, the Italian Interior Ministry blocked funding for two years, leading to a debt of two million euros and a financial emergency for the village. The 'Ndrangheta has threatened community associations aiding migrants. Lucano, admired by figures like Pope Francis and filmmaker Wim Wenders, went on a hunger strike in August to defend his integration model. The government's actions have caused concern among the community, with residents fearing the closure of essential services.

Iran's Forgotten Africans

13 Aug 2018  |  El País América
In Bushehr, Iran, a community of Afro-Iranians descended from 19th-century slaves lives in the Behbahani neighborhood. Despite the 1926 Iranian law abolishing slavery, this history is largely forgotten. The community, making up an estimated 10-12% of southern Iran's population, preserves African heritage through music and dance. Ali, a local, leads a successful folkloric group of Afro-Iranian schoolchildren. The community values their musical traditions, with instruments kept in mosques and used in both religious and festive events. The area's natural resource wealth contrasts with the poverty of its residents, who remain disconnected from their city's past and focused on their current struggles.

The Journey to the Betrayed People

02 Nov 2017  |  www.news.at
The article describes the plight of the Yazidi minority in the Sinjar region of Northern Iraq, who have been historically persecuted and were targeted for ethnic mass murder by the Islamic State (IS). Despite the IS being driven out, the region remains unstable, with Yazidi militias left to defend their land as Kurdish forces withdrew and Shiite militias moved in. The Yazidis, numbering around half a million, share cultural and linguistic ties with Kurds in Turkey and Syria but are isolated due to their distinct religious beliefs. The article recounts the harrowing experiences of Yazidis like Ibrahim, a taxi driver who escaped IS, and Şerwan, who built a life in the mountains to defend their sacred identity. It also highlights the Yazidis' struggle for autonomy and the international community's lack of response to their plight. The contrast between the desolation in Sinjar and the joyous atmosphere in Lalish during their New Year celebration underscores the Yazidis' yearning for peace.

Living in a Destroyed World

17 Aug 2017  |  taz.de
Three years after the Islamic State's attack on the Yazidi people in Northern Iraq, photographer Giacomo Sini has visited the region, capturing the current state of life there. The Yazidis, a Kurdish group with ancient pre-Islamic religious beliefs, were specifically targeted by ISIS, who considered them pagans. In August 2014, ISIS attacked the Yazidi's main settlement area around Sinjar city, resulting in the killing of many Yazidis, and the abduction of over 3,000 women and girls. The Peshmerga, Kurdish forces in Iraq, failed to protect the Yazidis, leading to the destruction of Sinjar city. PKK-affiliated units assisted the Yazidis, creating a corridor for their escape, which escalated tensions with the Peshmerga. The Yazidis, along with Syrian and Turkish Kurdish units, resisted ISIS and also clashed with Iraqi Kurds. In April, the Turkish army bombed the region targeting PKK units. On September 25, Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdish Autonomous Region, plans to hold a referendum on independence from Iraq, which would include the Sinjar region.

Dawn

09 May 2017  |  El País América
In Iran, despite Ayatollah Khomeini's proclamations that motherhood should be women's primary role, economic realities force women to work. In Isfahan, women artisans at the Tolou’ Cooperative, led by Azin, a university-educated artist, create traditional 'mina' crafts. They operate democratically, sharing profits equally, contrasting with exploitative market norms. The cooperative represents a growing trend of educated young women starting businesses. Azin also plans to revive her passion for carpet design, aiming to establish a cooperative that empowers rural women weavers.

A single Turkish neighborhood hosts 300,000 Syrian refugees

16 Nov 2016  |  El País América
Over 300,000 Kurdish and Arab Syrian refugees fleeing recent conflicts have sought refuge in Izmir's Basmane neighborhood, joining Kurds from southern Turkey and Romanies from Ottoman times. The area, with its steep streets and multicultural soul, is now home to refugees living in challenging conditions. The EU-Turkey immigration agreement has led many refugees to stay in Turkey with hopes of citizenship. Kapilar, a social space in Basmane, organizes workshops and provides legal and language assistance, aiming to integrate ethnic groups and facilitate encounters with Turks. Issues such as racism, child labor, and language barriers persist, with NGOs sometimes exacerbating tensions. Despite the hardships, some refugees like Aisha and Youssef find opportunities in Izmir, while others like Naser face dire health challenges and bureaucratic obstacles, and dreams of Europe remain distant for many.

Inside the Devastation of Northern Syria

01 Apr 2016  |  vice.com
During a ten-month siege starting in 2014, ISIS destroyed 70 percent of Kobani's buildings in the Rojava region of northern Syria. Kurdish militias ousted ISIS, and on March 17, 2016, Kurdish authorities declared Kobani and other cities semi-autonomous federal regions, despite Syria's Foreign Ministry rejecting the declaration and ongoing threats from ISIS and President Bashar al-Assad. Many Kurdish Syrian civilians have returned to the area.
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