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LA STAMPA

Photos, Clothes And Bones: Identifying Migrants Lost At Sea

A forensic expert heads a dedicated team working to try to identify those who have died trying to cross the Mediterranean. It is often to simply close the wounds of broken-hearted loved ones back at home.

Closure for the families of those who didn't make it across the Mediterranean.
Closure for the families of those who didn't make it across the Mediterranean.
Mattia Feltri

At first sight, he must have been 18 years old. But look at the iliac crest on the upper pelvis, says one of the doctors. The iliac crest still hadn't fused, as occurs in adults: The boy was younger, perhaps 16. Then, they go for the teeth, extracting the second and third molars. The third had a root that was just beginning to form. So, 14 years old. They strip him. Coat, vest, shirt, jeans. Between the linings of the coat, they felt something hard and square. They unstitch it. It's a report card written in Arabic and French. Math, physical sciences. It must have been the most precious thing that he owned. It was the pass that would help him grow up in Europe.

Cristina Cattaneo, a native of Casale Monferrato, is a professor of legal medicine at the University of Milan, and director of Labanof, a laboratory of forensic anthropology and odontology. Her expertise has been put to a five-year-long effort: that of givgin a name to those who died anonymously. The project is done for the same eternal reason Priam begged Achilles to return the body of his son, Hector, so he could bury him. And Cattaneo has now published a book about the grim but necessary process, called Naufraghi senza volto (Faceless Shipwrecked).

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Society

Urban Indigenous: How Peru's Shipibo-Conibo Keep Amazon Culture Alive In The City

For four years, indigenous photographer David Díaz Gonzales has documented the lives and movements of his Shipibo-Conibo community, as many of them migrated from their native Peruvian Amazon to the city. A work of remembrance and resistance.

For Shipibo-Conibo women, sporting a fringe is usually a sign of celebration or ceremony.

Rosa Chávez Yacila

YARINACOCHA — It was decades ago when the Shipibo-Conibo left their settlements along the banks of the Ucayali River, in eastern Peru, to begin a great migration to the cities. Still among the largest Amazonian communities in Peru — 32,964 according to the Ministry of Culture — though most Shipibo-Conibo now live in the urban district of Yarinacocha.

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