Emma Jane Kirby


Emma Jane Kirby is author of The Optician of Lampedusa (OR Books, 2016) and a reporter for the BBC, where she has worked as a foreign correspondent since 2001. She is currently a reporter with BBC Radio 4’s PM and The World at One. For the last two years, much of her time has been spent on the migration trail. In 2015, she was awarded the Bayeux-Calvados Award for War Correspondents for her reporting on the Lampedusa disaster.

The Optician of Lampedusa

Scenes of a Rescue
Written by

With hundreds of people thronging to the southern shores of Europe every day, and scores of rescues--and deaths--taking place on a daily basis on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, the refugee crisis on the Mediterranean often seems like a horror to which the world somehow remains blind. One man on the island has made it is his life's work to help us see. As the optician of Lampedusa, he has witnessed, mourned, and reached out to the people he's encountered on the sea, and he's begun telling his story.

A Message from Favianna Rodriguez

"Art is always a reflection, a testament and a record of our human condition." Donate Now!