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Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by Boat

Mapping and Documenting Migratory Journeys and Experiences

Please note that this project finished in February 2019.
BOOK: A co-authored monograph based on this research was published in March 2021: Reclaiming Migration: Voices from Europe's 'Migrant Crisis' (Manchester University Press). See more here.
THE PROJECT FINAL REPORT: Please click here or on the image to view the report
ONLINE INTERACTIVE MAP: Please click here or on the image to view some of the journeys and experiences shared by our research participants. Several stories from the map featured as an animation in the new exhibition, Refugees, at the Imperial War Museum (London) from September 2020 to June 2021.
RESEARCH INSPIRED ARTWORK: Please click hereLink opens in a new window to see and learn more about the artwork created by Salma Zulfiqar, which is based on interviews carried out by the research team.
JOURNEY > ARRIVAL PROJECT: Vicki Squire with Danai Mikelli (Coventry) and Ludvic Rooms was awarded a University of Coventry and University of Warwick City of Culture Partnership Grant in 2020.

Despite the European Union’s announcement of A European Agenda on Migration in May 2015, precarious forms of migration culminating in fatalities at sea continue at record levels. Over 3700 people died during the precarious journey across the Mediterranean in 2015, rising to more than 5000 people in 2016. Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by Boat provided a rigorous, evidence-based assessment of EU policies based on the in-depth qualitative research the project was carried out directly with those making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea by boat.

Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by Boat was an international project comprised of researchers at the University of Warwick, University of Malta, and the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP, Athens). The research team carried out 257 in-depth qualitative interviews with a total of 271 participants across seven sites in two phases: Kos, Malta and Sicily from September-November 2015, and Athens, Berlin, Istanbul and Rome from May-July 2016. Additional interviews were carried out in Malta until March 2016.

The project focused directly on the impact of policies upon people on the move, drawing together policy analysis and observational fieldwork with an in-depth analysis of qualitative interview data with people making – or contemplating making – the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea. As such, the project provided previously-unconsidered insights into the effects of policy on the journeys, experiences, understandings, expectations, concerns and demands of people on the move.

Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by Boat was funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council as part of the Mediterranean Migration Research Programme, and ran from September 2015 – February 2019. It was led by Principal Investigator Professor Vicki Squire (PaIS, University of Warwick), with Co-Investigators Dr Angeliki Dimitiradi (ELIAMEP), Dr Maria Pisani (University of Malta), Professor Dallal Stevens (Law, University of Warwick) and Professor Nick Vaughan-Williams (PaIS, University of Warwick).

The project report and online interactive map are now available. Please share your feedback on the map with the team here.

For any queries about the project and related resources, please contact: Professor Vicki Squire,

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“We just want our voice to be heard in the world. We want safety. And we want them to treat people like they are humans and not animals.”

Malta image and quote

Coverage of Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by Boat in the Times of Malta: Policies trying to deter migrants 'set to fail' – please click on the image above to read the article