ملاذا عائم – Le Havre Flottant- The Floating Haven
The world is watching as refugees are trying to access a better life, but the people who claim to care about migrants, such as governments and other international institutions, are either trying to solve the problem in the absolute wrong way or they’re doing nothing. Why is it that they are not willing to make a small sacrifice to help these people? The failure of major institutions and governments, such as the EU, Greece, Italy, and Spain, are negatively affecting the migrant crisis and not helping tackle the real problem. All of the solutions they had to offer were short term and not effective, only pushing the issue onto other countries.
Most of the countries that claim to be doing something about the migration problem just seem to be diverting the problem all together and trying to avoid immigrants even reaching their country. Instead of asking where these people can go and how can we help them, they just deny them entry and treat them like cattle. It is really disappointing to see how the world reacts to people in trouble and that need help. If these countries don’t have the capacity to help migrants, like Italy and Greece, they should get together, thoroughly assess the situation and come up with a long-term solution that doesn’t lead to more human rights abuses or the death of many.
To address the migrant crisis, the European Union has made an agreement with Turkey, stating that they wanted to stop the uncontrolled flow of migrants across the Aegean Sea. They have even gone as far as to close one of the safest and fastest routes for migrant and they refuse migrants coming to Greece from Turkey. This goes to show that the EU and other major governments are only concerned about the political side to the migrant crisis instead of the human rights side as well. The EU also constantly boasts about the the number of migrants to EU member countries dropping, but where are they going? The EU has been providing money to Italy to give to the Libyan Coast Guard to stop boats from leaving the Libyan shore. With this money they provide the Libyan Coast Guard with weapons and training. These “resources” have led to up to 20,000 migrants being detained in detention centers. Often the conditions of these centers have been called “inhumane” and “deplorable”. The same is to be said for Libyan refugee camps. The UN has reported that there are many “unimaginable horrors” that migrants are facing. They also face abuse and exploitation. Not to mention, all of the controversy surrounding the migrant crisis is showing up in important elections in many EU member countries. There has been a rise of xenophobia in these countries as well. Why make the gruelling and dangerous trip to these countries just to experience racism, as they most certainly would get from Italy, Spain, and Greece – discrimination and microaggressions. With our utopia, we hope to solve all of these problems.
What Does Our Utopia Have to Offer?
With our new utopia we plan to create a society dedicated to rescuing boats of refugees crossing the Mediterranean, and to offer safe and inclusive passage. We join in order to further the movement helping large populations through their forced and economic displacement. The goal of the community is to rescue refugees that are in immediate danger, rather than recruiting refugees. If a refugee has a place they want to go in mind, we will do our best to help them get there. We believe that every migrant should have a safe place to go where they can thrive and be stable. In order to provide this, our utopia offers a boat community where people may live on the sea in house boats or on land in apartment/ community style living. We also provide jobs on our land base! You could either give back by helping maintain the boats and supplies, being a teacher in our Kindergarten, teaching different languages in our language center, or becoming a lawyer or diplomat in our office buildings. We accept and need people of all backgrounds.
Our key values are inclusivity, communication, and open-mindedness. With our utopia, we address and solve the problem of improper integration of migrants into new cultures. We hope to create our own culture made up of the many cultures that are going to join us. We will respect and acknowledge each others’ differences and come together to help the community.
In order to make and maintain an efficient community, it is necessary to communicate effectively. What do you need? What do you want? How can we help you adjust? Through communication we can strengthen our bonds and develop our community even further.
Inclusivity — Communication — Open-mindedness
These are the values that we strive for in our utopia. It specifically addresses the problems of life-threatening migration in the Mediterranean and the cultural and social repercussions that come with it. Refugees are drowning at sea while the EU watches, refusing to help as soon as it becomes an inconvenience. We want to offer safe passage for those that need it, and at the same time build a sustainable community for those seeking asylum in and around the Mediterranean. We offer both a land based and seafaring community that is structured around family life with a legal team able to advise on issues of citizenship.
Those that choose to live on the Mediterranean live in family-sized boats, equipped with their own floating garden. Although this is a tight knit community, the boats allow for privacy through their spacious outdoors and separate indoor areas. Additionally, each family has their own floating farm where they can grow plants, as there are about 19 types of plants that can be grown in saltwater that are edible, and they can harvest fish. This is only a small resource in combination to the supplies that are provided by our land based community. Whether our community members are permanent or just passing through, we believe that every human should have a safe place to go where they can thrive in a stable environment.
Meanwhile, our land based community is situated in Marsaxlokk, Malta. While this community is an anomaly in Marsaxlokk, where only a little more than 2% of the population is foreign, we do foster connections to the town, both visually through the style of our buildings, and through personal relations. We have a kindergarten on site, to easy young children into their new lifestyle, but then integrate all young members into the Maltese public school system. To facilitate this we offer language courses in both English and Maltese. Malta’s prime minister Joseph Muscat has spoken out about the horrendous conditions of the refugee crisis, and is eager to find solutions to this issue.
Our project is sustained by the work of members on land and by the volunteers at sea. No matter what kind of experience one has when coming to our community, it is guaranteed to contribute greatly to the community. On the land base, we need various careers such as mechanics, teachers, agriculturalists, lawyers, and diplomats. On the boats, we will need several translators, some legal aid, such as paralegals, and therapists.
Our community depends on the plurality of the people that join us.