2018 / ongoing

This is the story of Mary, born on the 2nd of May 1994 in Mushalash, a small town in Lagos State in Nigeria. Her grandmother called her Tinuola, meaning “full of wealth” in the Yoruba language.

After a journey of more than 2.500 miles and endless time, which took her from Lagos to Benin City, then to Kano, Agadez in Niger and finally to the seaport city of Zuara in Libya, she arrived in Sicily in October 2014 and was transferred to Florence shortly afterwards. Following the end of one of the hospitality projects, she was transferred to Chivasso, a small town near Turin in 2017. Mary is a guest of the Mary Poppins association, a non-profit organization that works with trafficked women.

The journey that carries me to Chivasso is much shorter, just a few minutes’ drive from Turin, where I live and work. I turn to Mary Poppins thanks to the advice of a friend who works for the cooperative as an operator. After a series of introductory interviews I met Mary in April 2018.

Time carried me to become her friend. Her white brother. That is what she calls me now when she has to introduce me to her friends.

In 2019, Mary leaves the project and starts a new life. A life not easy and full of difficulties, made of mistakes, steps forward, passions, pain, humiliation. A long bureaucratic path to regularization on Italian ground and the search for a job.

This is a small story about the world around her and her incredible story. It’s the story of our friendship.