The use of migrants as an improper weapon in the investigative book “The dirty game” by Valerio Nicolosi

It comes out today, published by Rizzoli and denounces the interests on border control

“You have to ‘stay where you need to be’. So a friend told me, a few hours after losing her father, while she was in the middle of the sea saving the lives of migrant people. ‘Where you need to be’, because there is always a place where a humanitarian crisis is taking place, where human rights violations are constant. My friend’s name is Cecilia Strada, her father was called Gino and she showed us the importance of ‘staying where you need to be'”. Valerio Nicolosi, journalist, director and reporter, decided for some time where to stay.

He was the first to arrive in Ukraine to describe its tragedy, landing in Kiev one day before the Russian attack that opened the war. From there he gave a voice to the Ukrainian resistance and recounted the exodus of women and children towards Poland and Europe. A migratory route organized by the authorities and generously supported by citizens and associations, but which hides the same implicit threat as the routes in the Balkans and the Mediterranean. It is the ‘dirty game’ that the author of this book has seen far too many times, in too many parts of the world, played by some governments on the lives of migrants fleeing armed conflict, persecution, famine and poverty.

Born in Rome in ’84, Nicolosi is a journalist, director and photographer, dealing with social issues, migratory routes and the Middle East. He directed the docu-film “Ants, on migratory routes to Europe” and others with a social background. He collaborates with Rai, Mediaset, Associated Press, Reuters, Ansa and with various national and international newspapers. He has won awards as a photojournalist and director; he has published (R) existences (Crowdbooks 2018) and “Mediterraneo” (with Caterina Bonvicini, Einaudi 2022) and is the author of podcasts for “Micromega” and Storytel.

From the coasts of the island of Lesbos to Trieste, from Mariupol to Krakow, from Turkey to Libya, from the Balkans to Sicily, the lives of desperate people – ready to risk everything just to have even the chance for a decent future – are used every day as a means of geopolitical pressure or a real ‘unconventional’ attack. Thus, those who escape from hell end up finding themselves in countries with delicate political and social situations, where xenophobic hatred explodes into real ‘migrant hunting’ jokes. Through his photos and the story of him in the field, Nicolosi denounces the violence of authoritarian regimes and the hypocrisies of conniving governments, but above all he opens a window on the limits of the West and on the use of migrants as an “improper weapon of wars”.