Italians say “whenever someone dies, there is a business to be made.” When it comes to the death of labour migrants, the rules, practices and morality of such business are different. Most migrants can’t imagine death in migration. The money they make is sent back to finance the future: their children’s education, family houses and the everyday survival of people in another country. 3000 Euros required for repatriating the body back to Ukraine is an astronomical amount for most.
Their families are far away. Their home, after decades of living abroad, is neither here nor there. But the idea of home, of family, even if they don’t meet for years, becomes the driver of all decisions, life choices, and self-discipline, thousands of miles away from the actual places and people. Their death exposes the difficulties and hardship of migration all at once - from bureaucratic hurdles, to family conflicts, financial troubles and the uncertainty as to where “home” is.
The outbreak of the war in 2022 has placed an intense financial burden on migrant workers to provide for family members directly affected by war. It has also aggravated the everyday anxiety about the parents, children, and families stranded in the country torn by war, as well as deepened emotional bonds of solidarity. All these are exposed in the stories of our protagonists, who struggle to stay in business while doing their best to help in these times of need. The idea of home is gaining new meaning for those who live and for those who die.