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The term Agone can be translated as ‘the field’ i.e. the field of conflict or the physical location where a competition or duel is held. As such, the word itself can be viewed as a boundless battlefield in which opposing forces collide. One of the most significant and dangerous of these conflicts is the one that moves the different equilibriums between North and South. It establishes the line between possibility and uncertainty, health and disease, freedom

as well as brought thousands of migrants to the gold and platinum mines of South Africa in the early 1900’s. Stimela is also the name of this project which seeks to describe the Southward journey many migrants (most of whom are from Central Africa) choose to take rather than head north to Europe. Opposite direction. Same reasons. Same risks and difficulties. Same pain. Stimela seeks to describe causes and consequences of this journey.

The overexposure to a stimulus often undermines its effects. We have long been bombarded with articles, proclamations, declarations and theories about the migration “problem”. To describe it as a problem is incorrect and the over use of the word migration has rendered the word almost meaningless. It erroneously transformed an enormously vast phenomena into something more prosaic. Something with the same nuance of “us and them”. We have just a partial point of view. And most of the media, along with policy and finance, proliferates this. 

Stimela is an occasion to reflect and observe the phenomenon of migration from another point of view less linked to an Eurocentric vision of the word. A point of view that is not so easy to simplify into “us and them.” Because, reflecting on the importance of the word “we”, it is clear that one of its meanings represent the very human desire and the very human illusion to deserve a better future.