The Other Side of Truth: Refugee Seekers

We decided to investigate a topic that touches us directly and personally both as Italians and Europeans.  Every day we hear of the arrival of people who escape from their own countries, embark on makeshift vessels to reach the shorelines of Italy, Spain and Greece to find a better future in Europe.  What do we really know of these people? Are we growing accostumed to their arrival? Are we bombarded with misinformation and negative propaganda? As you already know, the only answer to these question is that of finding as much information as possible and compare and contrast your sources.  Then you can grow independent in your thinking process and make your own opinions about any topic.  For this very reason we looked into this sad reality and we studied the differences betweeen asylum seekers, refugees, economic migrant.  We looked at different websites, we read different articles and we read Beverley Naidoo’s novel “The Other Side of Truth”.

Which cover do you like best? Why?

The_Other_Side_of_Truth_cover the_other_side_of_truth 129773

The novel “The Other Side of Truth” by Beverley Naidoo represents our springboard into a harrowing issue, so close to all of us.  Human beings deprived of the chance to live in a free democratic country, of leading a dignified existence, risk their lives to reach the shores of Italy and find their way in Europe.  We will look into the lives of some teenage refugees or asylum seekers who will cast some light into an aspect of our century that is so distant fromt the lives we take for granted.

Look at the following cartoons, what common message do they have?

Coffin refugees to Lampedusa
Coffin refugees to Lampedusa

138799_600 473298-mark-knight-0808 ClimateRefugees_BannerSocial advertising is used by non-governmental organizations to raise people’s awareness to social ills and discrimination, to problems that plague and affect mankind, among which there is the dreadful and appalling reality of people forced to leave their countries to survive.  Look at the following ads and mention which makes you reflect the most and why.

ckhieymwiaajnor b543831cdd555cd18e224721c5173f6d spot-the-refugee 848e7f818ace4c9ef2fdf9cc56f29b5cWe tried to dispel misconceptions and myths about refugees, yet there are still some resistances aren’t there?  There are still lots of people, in our families too, that may think that refugees represent a threat to our society.

Reading “The Other Side of Truth” certainly helped us experience what some young people have to go through when their families try to “smuggle them” into another country to safe their children’s life, to give them a future they as adults are perhaps deprived of.  We asked ourselves “What does it mean to be a refugee?” “How does that feel?”

There is also an application called “My Life as a Refugee” that you can download. What do you think of it?  Do you think it proper or improper? Why?


Last but not least we reflected upon the meaning of having a home.  This profound musing was eased by a wonderful poem by Warsan Shire entitled “Home”.

This poem inspired some of your older school mates to do the following project.

The following are some of your digital products prompted and sparked by the reading of the novel.  I am very proud of you.


See on Tackk

I would like you now to focus on the possible activities you can create on “The Other Side of Truth”. You can work individually or in pairs. You need to get organized because you are recommended to diversify the activities so that all of them are covered.

  • Create a Book Trailer (You may want to write a script that somehow encapsulates the core theme of the book and act it out. You can use different applications: Screencast-O-Matic, Adobe Spark, Animoto, VoiceThread) or a Book Review (You write a review and then you shoot a video showing the book and urging other adolescents to read the book. You could read an important short passage and mention why the book, in your opinion, should be read).

This is what a student wrote for the School Library Journal:

With political insight, sensitivity, and passion, Naidoo presents the harrowing story of two Nigerian children caught in the civil strife of their beloved homeland in the mid-1990s. Eighth-grader Sade Solaja and her fifth-grade brother, Femi, are hastily stowed out of Nigeria after their mother is shot and killed by assassins’ bullets meant for their outspoken journalist father. The children are abandoned in London and are unable to locate their uncle, a university professor who has been threatened and has gone into hiding. Picked up first by the police and then by immigration authorities, the youngsters remain silent, afraid to reveal their true names and background. They are placed in a foster home where kindness does not relieve their loneliness and alienation. School is a frightening plunge into Western culture, relaxed discipline, ethnic harassment, and peer intimidation. When their father, who has illegally entered the country, contacts them from a detention center, the children are jubilant. However, their excitement is overshadowed by his imprisonment and subsequent hunger strike. Sade enacts a plan to tell “Mr. Seven O’Clock News” her father’s story. Public attention and support follow, prompting his release. Tension and hope alternately drive the story as Sade and Femi grapple with an avalanche of decisions, disappointments, and discoveries. Traditions temper Sade’s despair as she remembers times at Family House in Ibadan, and her mother’s quiet admonition to be true to yourself. Through these compelling characters, Naidoo has captured and revealed the personal anguish and universality of the refugee experience.

Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts, NC

  • You are a journalist and you interview Femi and Sade: What is it like to be a refugee? What are the main differences between their life back home and her life in London? What are the things that baffle them about living in the UK?, etc. (This activity is meant for three students. Use the application Spreaker)
  • You are a Journalist and you interview the writer Beverley Naidoo.  Ask her questions about her novel “The Other Side of Truth” and about her writing and life in general.
  • You are a Journalist and you interview Sade and Femi’s father, who is a journalist himself.  You visit him in the detention centre.  Ask him questions about Nigeria, about his wife’s murder, about the future of his children, about his hope for the future, etc.
  • Write one page of the diary either of Sade’s or of Femi’s.  You choose the event you want to write about.  This is about self-reflective writing, so the way you respond to important life’s experiences and challenges, your response to thoughts and feelings, a way of making meaning out of what happened to you, an opportunity to gain self-knowledge, a way to achieve clarity and better understanding of what your life is.
  • Write a poem about the difficulties of being accepted in a foreign country and of being an asylum seeker.
  • Create a video to sensitize people to the issue of escaping from a country to seek help and refuge in another country.  This video should promote awareness of the difficulties faced by children who are sent or taken to another country to see their lives spared, it should also have some of the effective features of social advertising.


59 Replies to “The Other Side of Truth: Refugee Seekers”

  1. The Other Side of Truth is a book by Beverley Naidoo and it tells the story of two brothers who are obliged to leave their country and makes catapulted into the reality of a metropolis, completely different from the village they lived in: London.
    This theme, that of immigration, touches us very closely and it is becoming an increasingly evident reality: immigrants, asylum seekers and political refugees fleeing their countries to try to escape from a reality that would kill them. The crossing from them to our country is never easy: a lot of them actually die on the way; women, men, children and old people, like us, only different because of their skin color and culture, but still like us.
    In one of the images that ask to find the immigrant, the intruder, one who should be different and be recognized straight away, in fact, I did not succeeded; this shows that we are all equal.
    For the cover image that I find most appropriate, Ichoose the second, one with the double face of the girl and the two different scenes in the background. I think it demonstrates very well the meaning of the entire book: the same person who used to live in his country, now is forced to leave it and change her life. This is “the other side of the truth”, which has really two sides: you run away to find a new life, a better one, but when you get there, you are not recognized by the people of the place and you don’t know to whom you belong.
    We should not judge a “book by its cover” before knowing the story it contains.
    I think we are very lucky to live in our country and with a roof over our head every day, with a family and friends who love us, because it must be really hard to deal with a situation such as that of immigrants, who are forced to twist the their lives to try to survive.

  2. More and more people, coming from Syria, Libya and Egypt, decide to escape from their countries to reach Italy. They are escaping from war and hunger. Many of them are children and pregnant women.
    Everyday a lot of people arrive in Italy hoping to have a better life. These people have nothing, they do not have money and they do not have a place where to sleep.
    I have read the book by f Beverly Naidoo, I have bought the one with the third cover. For me it is the best cover of the three shown here, because it gives a small summary of the story.
    The other side of truth by Beverly Naidoo describes very well the life of an illegal immigrant in the UK. The story is very detailed and well written, it talks about the experience of two children that are obliged to move to the UK because of threats. The two protagonists are Sade and her brother Femi. After the death of their mother they have to move to London to be safe. Uncle Tunde and they passed the supervision of the police with false passports. I found very interesting to understand what children feel like. I have never been an immigrant but if I were in their shoes I would not know what to do.
    Nowadays there are people who think that refugees are a threat for our society. I think that refugees are not necessarily a threat, because they can be source of culture. On the other hand we cannot afford to host too many immigrants in a short time because refugees need to integrate themselves.
    I really appreciate the cartoons, they are clear and they explain efficaciously feelings, problems and dangers. Especially, they focus on the difficulty of a refugee seeker to arrive to the EU. Personally I like the third. It represents one of the ways to come to Italy. It is very important to see that mafia and criminal organizations are the main characters of this phenomenon. They earn a lot of money by carrying people from Africa to Italy.
    However, all the cartoons have a common message, it is very hazardous for an immigrant to reach Italy. As a matter of fact there have been lots of accidents in the Mediterranean sea.
    I downloaded the application “My Life as a Refugee” and I tried it once but I do not think it is very proper. Obviously it does not tell the false but it has some misconceptions in some ways.
    Nevertheless, also the ads help to understand in a playful way that immigrants and us are equal.

    1. Really interesting Eros. I would like to know from you what misconceptions you found in the application “MY Life as a Refugee”. Let me know in class. I am really interested in listening to your considerations.

  3. Nowadays, we overhear more and more discussions about the refugees and, unfortunately, most of them are full of prejudices and baseless opinions and, what is more, they contribute to spread the xenophobia.
    The media do not improve the situation: it is very likely for us to find xenophobic posts in Facebook and, what is worse, we can also easily find some black humor post, like the ones overlying. Personally, I think that laughing for this type of post means not knowing what these poor people have been through. So, for those who post such things on Facebook or comment with xenophobical phrases I have a little piece of advice: you should know their stories bfore you judge them.

    1. Facebook is full of trash, but life is full of trash because there are human beings who are full of trash. ( I am using “trash” in order to avoid another word that I cannot possibly use on an educational blog). Ideally we should “unfriend” people who are far away from our values. If we keep them as FB friends, they are somehow representative of the people we are. You did not mention anything about the novel. Remember that our focus is the novel!

  4. Refugee seekers is one of the most discussed and important problems nowadays but seems that no one, and in particular the European Union, give much importance to this topic. Let’s talk clearly, the government gives the population what they want so we should point the finger also to ourself; in fact we didn’t take much seriously this problem until the number of refugee got doubled year per year and they couldn’t be ignored anymore. We don’t know a lot about them but we know enough to give them a new place to live, a new land they can call home, in fact they all arrive from a country economically destroyed or where there have been wars and violence against human rights; we should build bridges instead of walls like the new president of United States is doing now.
    Probably yes, we’re bombarded with misinformation and negative propaganda but once again is our fault because we all know that a lot of politicians have influence on TV shows or newspaper; everybody should buy newspapers that are “free” from political pressures.
    Personally I like the second cover because those eyes suggest me the hope of a little girl to find a safe life in a different country and her faith reposed on humankind.
    The cartoons have one common message: the life of a refugee is like a horrible game that everyday challenges the death, every moment could be the last.
    Of course there are people who still think refugee are a threat but I think they’re just victims of negative propaganda or duped by some politicians. I believe they just forgot that also Italians once upon a time were refugee seekers.
    I think that the application is well done but it’s quite improper, we can’t possibly compare our life to the one a refugee has.

    1. We need to clarify the difference between MIGRANT and REFUGEE SEEKER. A migrant is someone who moves from one place to another in order to live in another country for more than a year (I was a migrant when I decided to move to Canada to offer my life opportunities that I thought Italy could not offer at the time). The are many reasons that people become migrants, but those who move to work or seek a better life are generally termed economic migrants. There are, however, also international students, those who move for family reasons and those who migrate because they are fleeing war and persecution.
      A refugee is a person who has fled armed conflict or persecution and who is recognised as needing of international protection because it is too dangerous for them to return home. They are protected under international law by the 1951 refugee convention, which defines what a refugee is and outlines the basic rights afforded to them.
      (The Guardian)

  5. “The Other Side of the Truth” shows many different themes that are not common but the main one is absolutely immigration. This story is centered in the journey of these two young children, Sadde and Femi, that leave their home in Nigeria and go in London, a city, a home, a society that is completely different from the one that they knew before. It is expected that their first days are very difficult because they have to face problems that usually concern people greater than them and they have to move in a place where they haven’t been. The fact that is very admirable is that they did all these things in less than three days!
    This is the condition of thousands of refugees that every day leave their home in sorts of ships that have no space even for a child, and go through the sea, fighting against starvation and hydration, and arrive in countries where they are nothing, the lower social class. People who were graduated in their country are now in these new places the scum of the society.
    “What’s wrong here” really impressed me because refugees in Europe (where the majority part of them arrive with these “ships”) have nothing and no one who can help them, so personally, it is terrible, from their point of view, watching every person that has an employment like a policeman or a chef, with a house and a good family, and then watch yourself, so with nothing in your hands, neither a house where you can feed your children, and most of all neither the dignity because the worst thing is that no one gives attention to these refugees that came here only to build a new life for themselves starting from zero but find only racism and no rights, obliged to have the worst jobs with the lowest salary.
    When, we, people of Europe, will destroy these social barriers and accept these people that the only thing that they want is to be free and live a decent life instead of “steal” our jobs?

  6. The issue of immigration has become a major debate for everyone. Immigration means the one way flow of the population to a specific place or country. People move out of the native country or state for various reasons, and this book is about two refugees from Nigeria who have to smuggle in London in order to save their lives.
    The cover I prefer is the first because it combines the main characteristics of the novel like the country where they take refuge which is the UK, their homeland, Nigeria, and the two central characters, lost in a place where they do not feel accepted.
    The messages are all very similar because they represent the will of the immigrants to be free as something they would give their life for. They face terrible journeys to reach some places they don’t know just because they want freedom, the one they could not have where they lived before. Unfortunately their urge to leave their countries can become a way to earn lots of money, and the ones that profit from it are the unscrupulous men who are paid by the immigrants in order to get them out of the country illegally.
    Between all the ads, the last one makes me feel very uncomfortable. We think we are living a great life just because we are not directly affected by the events that are occurring in some other parts of the planet. People all around the world die everyday trying to fight their oppressors. We have to start looking at what surrounds us from different eyes, only then we will understand what other people feel.

  7. Life is a gift that everyone should enjoy.
    Unfortunately not always it happens and it is a reality not far from us.
    Nowadays more and more people escape from their own country to search a better life in place like Europe.
    Newspapers, blogs, social media, television, books and films dealing with this topic of immigration: for example ‘The other side of truth’.
    From my point of view the best cover is the second one because you are able to read directly the soul of the characters through the dark and deep eyes, be aware of what they have experienced.
    The refugees are constantly precarious between life and death. But their minds cast light on the ideal of hope and finding a better place to live as a real human beyond the ocean that slowly devours them.
    Nowadays indifference and apathy are too much widespread. We must open our eyes against what happens in the world and we must not turn our backs on those who suffer.
    We must not close our eyes. We must be active, help those around us and we must prevent as much as possible in order to block that this phenomenon will become viral. Everyone have to know the past of a person before judging.

  8. Before reading “The other side of truth”, I did not know much about refugees, beside what I saw on the news; in addition to reading the book, I also tried to find more information about them on the internet or in newspapers. I found a lot of different opinions and facts, and it was hard to understand which ones were true.
    Anyway, this is a topic that concerns us all directly, as Italians, Europeans and humans.
    Personally, I think that to understand their situation we just have to put ourselves in their shoes: imagine being forced to leave your country and your life because you can no longer live in safety, due to war or persecution, and trying to reach a new country in the hope of a better future.
    Life as a refugee can be difficult to imagine, but for nearly 20 million people around the world, it is a terrifying reality.
    I know that a lot of people still think that refugees are a threat and that they steal our jobs, but there are a lot of jobs that Italians would not do even if there were not the refugees.
    I was surprised to see that the biggest refugee hosting country in the world in Turkey, but not so much that most refugees come from Syria: over 4,5 million people.
    I liked the book but to me it seemed all too easy for the children when they got to London, even though they got bullied; they were very lucky to find nice foster parents and to be able to live with their dad in the end.
    The cover that I like the most is the second, because I think that the eyes express a lot of feelings and those of the two children are very communicative.
    The ad that struck me the most was the one that said “Refugees would like to have the same problems you have”, because it is easy to forget that there are people that live in far worse conditions that we do and complain about the little problems that we have.
    The common message of the cartoons is that most people do not survive the travel, but they are willing to risk their life to escape the reality of their countries.

    1. You are definitely right Emma when you state that the book does not give a faithful portrait of what a hypothetical refugee seeker is faced with. However, the world is so bleak already and so ruthless at times that a book meant to sensitize young readers about the issue of migration/lack of democracy and freedom/discrimination, cannot possibly “kill” hope. Right?

  9. Unfortunately, every day thousands of people are forced to leave their country to escape war and the lack of future. Sometimes they even die trying to cross the sea, since the boats they travel in might capsize and sink. In the past few years, Italy has taken in thousands of refugees, mainly from Africa. Many people think they represent a threat to our society, but in my opinion, it is misinformation that is threatening it.
    The book by Beverly Naidoo was really helpful to learn more about this issue. Although we try to understand, I think that only people who have gone through the same experience will fully understand what being a refugee means.
    Personally, I prefer the green cover, because unlike the other two, it shows clearly the “two sides of truth”. In the first photo, the girl is in her hometown in Nigeria, whereas in the second one she is in London, far away from her family.
    All the cartoons show how dangerous it is for refugees to travel such long distances in precarious conditions. In fact, there is usually a large group of people on a small boat, so they are all tightly packed.
    The ad that makes me reflect the most is the first one. It is a very accurate picture of reality. Sadly, refugees are often isolated, because people are afraid of the unknown and of who is different.
    People should put aside all prejudices and think about what refugees have to go through.

    1. What should we do then to help people see beyond their prejudices? What can we do in our daily routine to raise awareness as to the difficulties some migrants and refugees have to go through?

  10. By reading the book I realized better the bewildering reality in which we live: we discriminate, we submit, and even we kill our fellows because of their different skin color, because of their nationality and much more!
    In ‘The Other Side Of Truth’ many aspects of this persecution emerge, for example the prohibition (especially for newspapers) to show off the truth, and what can happen if these impositions are not respected. Maybe the third cover highlights best the confusion that accompanies the brothers throughout the entire story; it represents Sade and Femi who are holding their hands in the middle of images that remind both their past and their present in London.
    I believe that identifying the immigrants as the scapegoat of many of our social and political problems is something that most of us do without thinking too much about it. I am sure that we are not enough informed about the real conditions of these people and we will never be able to understand the despair that has led them to be forced to leave their homeland.
    I think that all those who escape from their countries for political reasons should be helped in order to restart working and become independent in their new country; allowing them to do this is the task of those who welcome these people.

  11. Every time you watch the news reports, what you mostly hear about is people who try reaching our country, many times in vain. Why do these people want to come here? Why precisely our country (but also Spain and Greece) that from our eyes seems to be a place where work is vanishing day by day and people are getting poorer and poorer? The answer is simple and hard at the same moment: war, terrorism and no possibility of conducting a proper life.
    A book I have read during the last month is “The Other Side of Truth” by Beverley Naidoo: it perfectly describes what immigrants have to go through before reaching our country, provided that they do not pass away before, due to the conditions they have to deal with. What they have when they come here is nothing: no food, money but just a family they have to feed. I do not think they are a threat, but it is important to increase the security, in order to have the situation under control.
    The cover of the book I like best is the second one because it creates a link between your and the girl’s eyes, which are full of fear and tell you her endless past. I have really appreciated the fact that her face is depicted not once, but twice, symbolising her life in London and her previous one in Nigeria, from where she had to escape with her beloved brother.
    I found her and her sibling’s story intriguing and mind-opening, since it made me realise things I was not aware of.
    As regards the cartoons, the ones I think are the best are the first and the second one.
    The message I got is that when they leave their country, they very often head towards death, as I have said before. I like the comparison of the death with a vortex that, if you lose balance, which is easy since they are walking on a rope, englobes you.
    In my opinion, we should be more aware of what is going, because misinformation is prevailing right now, because, even though the media bomb us with plenty of information and numbers, we do not know enough things as regards their life and they journey.

    1. The sad part is that we do not know a lot about these refugees or migrants because they are “invisible”. The news reports about them when there are crimes or protests. Then they are invisible because WE do not demand to know more. We drown in our daily routine, we barely find the time to float that it does not even cross our minds to enquire about these people’s lives. I do not understand what you mean by “englobe”, since it does not exist in the English dictionary and perhaps you wanted to say “eye-opening” instead of “mind-opening”, right?
      Thanks for writing this post!

  12. Almost every time someone read a newspaper, or watch newscast, would read or hear about refugee seeker, the fact that people are growing accustomed to face this problems is making them even being accustomed to the problem. Redundance often brings to disregard and that is what unfortunately is spreading through everyone nowadays.
    in fact, talking about young people as I am, we are not being influenced by negative or positive propaganda, as well as we don’t really care about refugee seekers. I want to underline the world “really”, because we care, but we care inasmuch as we have been grown up with the idea, that caring is what we are supposed to do in situations like these ones. sentences such as “Poor they! Who knows what they have been through…” are kind of popular in these days and are even more wrong than useless, because since we can’t possibly phisically help refugees, we can be intellectually near to those people, growing consciousness about the problem. There comes misinformation, not in the fact that we are not informed properly by mass medias, but in the fact that news about migration are redundant as the problem is and we catch these informations as “another news about refugees”.
    What can truly help us gain knowledge about migration problem is knowing why they moved away from their country. This is the point in which Beverley Naidoo’s novel “The other side of truth” outstands. The novel actually represents the condition in which Femi, Sade and their dad are obliged to live and even how much bravery it needs to escape from a country in wartime such as Nigeria. Even the cover of the book allow you to get some important messages, especially the drawn one, which underline the huge gap in the culture and in the society between Nigeria and England, colouring the cover in two completely different colours, orange for Nigeria and blue for England.
    Coming to an end the cartoon that I liked most is the one with the ladders and snakes game on it. I found the way it shows the difficulties, that trying to escape from a Third World country involves, interesting for real and especially how it reports the way the corruption flooded in these countries.

    1. Interesting perspective Marco. It is just a pity that you cannot “embed” your insightful considerations in a “cohesive and grammatically correct text”! What should I do to make you work harder? Thanks for the post.

  13. Everyday hundreds of people need to leave their country because of war or cliamte and seek asylum in others. The path they walk is insidious and full of perils and even if they manage to reach their destination many other obstacle like bureaucracy arise. Through Beverley Naidoo’s story, “The other side of truth”, we learned what difficulties these refugees may come to face. Out of the three book covers the second is the one I like most, it shows the changes the girl had to do in order to survive and how her perception changed. The one thing I don’t like about the first cover is that the girl in the cover is almost crying making it seem as she wasn’t happy of being safe with her family in London. On the other hand I think the third is too basic, only showing some random images of importance to the story.
    Regarding the comics they have in common the fact that refugees need to face dangerous journeys to save themselves and this is often not enough, as shown in the last comic when they arrive they go back from where they started.
    I tried the app and I think the developers were too lazy to make an interesting game as it didn’t give me any real choice. I tried to make good choices and bad things happened to me, then tried the worst possible options and luck is suddenly by my side making me end in the same situation as the one I got in my first run. Some may say that this is because refugees don’t have any free choices and whatever they try their situation won’t change without help, but I think it was just boring and useless as it didn’t make me change my opinion on the matter. And if it didn’t manage to change mine (I’m fairly neutral, I simpathize with refugees but would’nt do to much to help them) I can’t imagine changing someone who is against.

    1. Dear Frnacesco,
      Thanks for your comment. Have you ever thought of gamification? It would be great if you could device a better app. I am hopeless at it. If I could I would create a new game myself and I would take into consideration your comments. 😉

  14. Every day, when I read the news, I see at least one article about refugees. It’s difficult nowadays, for all the informations that surround us, ignore all the tragedies that happen.
    Despite that, lots of men don’t care about this reality; look at the Lego’s picture: it shows men and women that differ from each other for their works, personalities, features and lives. There is just one thing they have in common: their skin’s tone.
    As matter of fact, many people discriminate refugees for unfounded reasons; they see them as strangers with a different skin’s color that must be kept out.
    But what is their real fault? Escape from their countries, which were took away from them by the war, hoping to stay alive? Is this one consider a fault?
    Looking at the picture where some people are walking on a thin cord, trying to reach the Europe, escaping from the death, an obvious question comes to my mind: is it their fault or is it our fault? What are we doing to keep them safe and to give them what they sincerely deserve?
    As the writer Naidoo teaches us with her fascinating words, most of the migrants are poor, innocent people that deserve more.
    In the last years, rightly, things get better, and lots of people start considering the refugees’ reality closer. But honestly, I think that we, as society, can do much better and that we must bear in mind what history teaches us: discriminate people for what they are, isn’t the right way.

    1. Discrimination is never right because it is founded on ignorance. The more we know about an issue, the fewer chances there are of us discriminating anybody. Than discrimination, in my view, is not just fed by ignorance, it is also based on people’s lack of balance and self-acceptance. I fear what is different from me because I feel menaced, but I feel menaced when I am not fully balanced or in control of my life. I do not know whether I am making sense here. It seems clear to me, though.

  15. The cover I like the most is the second one because I think it perfectly represents the changing in the protagonist’s life; after fighting and travelling, hoping to reach a better standard of life, refugee seekers often still live an unhappy life because many times they don’t integrate with other people and they are not threaten as they really should. This happens because there is many people who still have unfounded prejudices about refugee seekers and discriminate them. Reading Beverley Naidoo’s novel “The other side of truth” helped me to understand what these people really feel when they escape from their countries to avoid wars and unstable political situations. All the cartoons have in common the fact that sailing through the Mediterean sea often represents an enormous risk on asylum seekers’ life. What makes me upset is the fact that there is people who profiteer on these people’s lives to get richer, especially after they have reached Europe, giving not the right hospitality. Immigration is a problem that concerns us very much because Italy is the closest european country they can reach. In my opinion we should give asylum seekers our help and we should not build walls like other countries do, but the best way to help them is to resolve the problems directly in their countries

    1. My provocative question is: Are western countries really interested in solving other countries’ problems, especially the ones not in the Western Block? I’m pretty scheptical. If it were so, after so many years of the white people presence in the African Continent, most problems should have been solved, instead lots have been worsened. If we were really capable of solving other countries’ problems, how come Italians are still “facing”/”fighting” (???) the problem of corruption, of crime, of different types of Mafias?

  16. “The other side of truth” by Beverley Naidoo is a book which deal with the problems of being forced to escape from your own country. The protagonists are two kids which have to face the sorrow for their mother’s death, the fear of going abroad without their father, the neglect, the bullies of their new school, the choice between lying to save their father and saying the truth as they are used to. This book is meant to make us understand the difficulties that many children like us deal with. It shows us the pain that many people have to face and the fact that they do not want to leave their countries and their families, but they must leave them because of wars, terrorism… and when they arrive here they have to face our contempt, our rejection. Why do we do it? We do not want to help them because we are bombarded with negative propaganda: some months ago there were rumours about refugees receiving money every day without doing anything and spending it buying new phones. In fact, they paid the place where they slept and gave the remainder to the Italian earthquake victims.
    The cover that I prefer is the second because the eyes of the girl show the depth of her story and establish an eye-contact between the girl and the reader. It shows even the differences between the two places where the novel is set: the first one is her own country, where there is her home and where there is so much greenery; the second one is London, where there is nothing but grey, sad buildings, without any familiarity.
    The cartoons have one common message. All the refugees have to tackle difficulties to escape from the death, which does not leave them until they arrive in a safe place.
    The social advertising are focused on the differences between the refuges and us. The ad that I appreciate the most is the first one because it makes think about the way refugees feel when they complain about them.
    Even the last one has a powerful meaning: it reminds us what are the real issues of life and it highlight that there are people that feel worse.
    We have to think about all these things and understand that life is not so granted as we think.

  17. Immigration, especially illegal immigration, is a topic that we often see on the news nowadays. Reportages usually show footage of large, unsafe boats – if we can call them in this way – with hundreds and hundreds of people on them and the majority of them often lose their lives. I think we are growing accustomed to the arrival of refugees, but we still are not able to accept them and help them the way they deserve. We are growing accustomed to this kind of bloodbaths and to a situation in which the main human rights are not guaranteed to a large number of people. People often hold protests against the welcoming of these refugees and the main reason is that they think that they steal their jobs. I do not think this is true. If someone is hired, it is because he or she deserved it – I mean, most of the times – or because he or she worked hard to find a job, so that is just an excuse and they are protesting for other reasons that are not acceptable in public.
    I like the third cover the most because it sums up quite well the plot of “The Other Side of Truth” of Beverley Naidoo. The artist drew the Union Jack, the flag of the UK, the country in which Sade and Femi were sent by their father, the two siblings holding hands – they are the main characters –, the airplane thanks to which they escaped from Nigeria and the wooden sculptures which symbolize not only their homeland but also their lives before their mother’s murder.
    The common message of the three cartoons is that, when they leave their countries, refugees not rarely risk their lives and are in great danger. Sometimes it can even happen that no one tries to help and assist them, so they are left in the middle of the sea with no water or food and all they had is lost. If the can reach the shores or the border of a country and they are rescued, they are often sent away or, if they get the permission to remain in that country, they are disrespected and treated badly by the citizen of that State.
    I think the most powerful advertising is the one titled “Spot the refugee”. I really like, because it makes people reflect upon the fact that it is often forgotten that refugees are just “normal” people. We could not possibly tell from the outside if someone is a refugee or not, but most of the times we associate the figure of a refugee to a ethnicity and that is a sign of ignorance.

  18. The one of immigration is one of the most important topics of our society. For many years now we have been part of a world where wars destroy the lives of entire families and force many people to move away from their home countries in the hope that they will find a better life in a completely different environment. But still, there are people who don’t accept this situation, people who think that immigrants will steal their goods and their rights. They don’t realize that they are the ones who are depriving these people of their rights. We are talking about human rights, but these close-minded people don’t see them as humans. That’s why it’s important that many non-governmental organizations keep helping the welcoming into our countries of asylum seekers as well as the governments of the countries themselves.
    The novel “The other side of truth” by Beverley Naidoo is a great example of how not every asylum seeker or refugee is poor and with a modest backstory. The main characters are in fact the kids of a journalist, they live a good life until a tragedy happens: their mom is killed and now they are in danger, they are risking their lives and they need to escape from their home country, Nigeria, as soon as possible. Their migration story is not the same as many other asylum seeker, since they arrive in London without having to pass throught other european cuntries and they arrive by plane, so they don’t experience the terror of having to travel with hundreds of other people al together in a relatively small boat. They are lucky, but this luck doesn’t last throughout the whole novel. In fact, they are then abandoned by the woman who brought them to London and they can’t even find their uncle, the only contact they have in a totally different country. Luckily, since they are childre, they are almost immediately helped by social services, but we lately notice the difference with the condition of an adult immigrant: their father, in fact, in put in a jail, and only after a certain period of time is released and is allowed to ask for asylum.
    Between all the book covers, I think that the most visually effective one is the third one, since we can see all the key elements of the story: the children, Engalnd, their origins, the plane ect.

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