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Interview of Kathrin (from Germany to New Zealand and back to Europe) 

    Find out more on women migrants across Europe with our documentary available HERE

    Kathrin (aged 39) left Germany in 2009 to New Zealand.

    Kathryn moved to New Zealand in 2009 and worked as an occupational therapist with the indigenous Maori. In 2015 she moved back to Europe where her work changed from an individual therapeutic level to a more collective and politically active focus, supporting people on the move in countries including Syria, the Balkans, Turkey and Italy. Her solidarity work has involved providing basic food and shelter, access to information, witnessing and documenting human rights violations but also search and rescue at sea.  

    Kathrin’s solidarity work has contributed to the rescue of more than 14,000 people in the Mediterranean sea. For her involvement in saving lives at sea, Kathrin was charged by the Italian authorities with facilitating the illegal entry of migrants to Europe in 2017, a practice that is referred to as criminalizing solidarity.

    During her interview, she declares: “when we talk about criminalization it is really important that we don’t stop at the point where helpers get criminalized because the real problem and most of that is happening in a very unnoticed or invisible way – people on the move themselves are getting criminalized“.

    For her, the object that best represents her migration experience is the ship, the Iuventa. Prior to its confiscation by the Italian authorities in 2017, the Iuventa was involved in the rescuing of hundreds of migrants from the Meditarrean sea. 

    Interview conducted by Elaine Moriarty on 29/9/22 in Trinity College, Dublin

    To cite this interview, Moriarty, Elaine (29/9/2022). Interview of Kathrin (from Germany to New Zealand and back to Europe). Trinity College, Dublin (length: 1:32mn).