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Barikama, From explotation of the caporalato to solidarity

Giacomo Sini


In Italy we often talk about corporalato, a form of illegal hiring and exploitation of farm day workers (generally immigrants) through an intermediary. This is a report on a social cooperative created near Rome, (Lake Martignano) by some migrants who after being rescued from sea ended up in the “Caporalato system” in southern Italy. After partecipating on the “Rosarno’s riot” against inhuman conditions of the so called “caporalato system” in 2010, they decided to organize themselves creating a company that produces yoghurt in which Italians also work and of which they became promoters. The cooperative is part of a set of projects gathered around the GAS (Solidarity Purchasing Groups) that carry out similar activities with migrants who find redemption by working with Italians with equal suddivision of general incomes.


This reportage has been showing to a global audience how a real cooperative project, driven by people who were expolited by the so called “Caporalato System” led by Italians could work for both immigrants and Italians who are still facing inhumane conditions of work.

The social cooperative of Barikama, born in Italy in 2011 by people who live the most inhuman exploitation of the Calabrian countryside, stained by the blood of the Caporalato, decided to get together and found a micro-income project. In here they decided to include also Italian boys with Asperger’s syndrome. This activity brings to people’s minds the importance of creating socio-economical solidarity relationships not based on explotation. It is a project self-created by people who live and have been experiencing racism. A project that has stigmatized on a national level the idea that immigration brings unemployment and exploitation. A project that has inspired many other experiences of solidarity in Italy and in the rest of Europe.

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