‘Inspired by a letter written by two Guinean boys addressing the presidents of the European countries. The two boys were found dead in the undercarriage plane landing in Brussels in 1999.’


A piece of earth
A piece of dreams
A huge frontier

A huge frontier
Between life and dignity
Between speeches and acts

Horror is daily
In Lampedusa
Sunk dreams, buried dreams
Thousands easy dreams

A European shame
An African shame
A world shame

Open the gates of your cemeteries
Let the world see
Those unmarked, unnamed, numbered graves

Let them see
On your waters
Those floating corpses

Silently, let those thousands mothers
Cry, silently, their children

Lampedusa, I saw in your camps
A child, number 81
No one cares about his name
He was waiting
‘Let him wait like the others’

Sleep little child
Sleep or wait in that chair
Hear the speeches, the promises, and wait

Wait until our dictator signs
With an American or a European president
Sharing a whisky, a cigar, some caviar

Wait until they sign
Some doubtful contracts

Hear the African union eternal silence
And whenever they gather
They gather to be more separated

Wait, little child
Wait until men become human
Wait and cry the curse
Of the rich womb of our continent
Which feeds the others but not us

Yes, little child, it is useless
To talk about slavery
Slave trade
Colonisation, the whip and the blade

Wait and write, awkwardly…
Yes, in their language:
      Excellences of the developed countries,
We just want to be like the others. We are thirsty of freedom and equality.

No one shall die because he tries to live.

Noufel Bouzeboudja
This poem paticipated in several exhibitions in the UK in collaboration with British Red CrossCommunity Arts Exhibition!