Planet 246

Sharif Gemie
The Naked Don’t Fear the Water: An Underground Journey with Afghan Refugees
by Matthieu Aikins and
Refugee Wales: Syrian Voices
Eds. Angham Abdullah, Beth Thomas and Chris Weedon

by Matthieu Aikins

Fitzcarraldo Editions, £12.99

In the past, each great oppressive wave has created its own architecture or space: the border castles of the Marcher lords, the slavers’ ships, the Nazi death camps, the Soviet gulags, the watchtowers and checkpoints of the Israeli occupation, the killing fields. But the twenty-first century is different. Power today is slippery, shifty and evasive, and when it turns nasty, it often hides itself. With no explicit, public pronouncement, a network of killing fields and deadly obstacles has been created around European state borders, new ‘marches’ as poorly defined, dangerous and deadly as their medieval predecessors, spaces formed by the hypocrisy, cruelty and downright stupidity of modern governments.

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About the author

Sharif Gemie is a happily retired History lecturer living in south Wales. He has published fifteen short stories, two flash fictions and has had a one-act play performed. His first novel, The Displaced, will be published in March 2023.