“It is shameful that within the EU there are refugee camps”

The writer Julia Navarro.

The writer Julia Navarro raises the widening gap between East and West in their new novel, From nowhere’, through the story of a teenager who wanted a better future and circumstances make him a “monster”, as he witnesses the murder of his family during an Israeli army mission in southern Lebanon. Faced with the corpses of his mother and sister, he vows that he will hunt down the guilty for the rest of his life. A story in which Navarro talks about immigration and uprooting using action for reflection.

In this novel, a monster gets under the skin that sows terror wherever it goes. I suppose it must have been hard. Have you come to understand it?

I write because I try to understand the human condition, the reasons full of chiaroscuro that we all carry inside. I don’t always get an answer, but I’m obsessed with why we do what we do. This is a thought-provoking action novel on issues that matter to me such as the growing distance between East and West, what about the Islamic-rooted terrorism that has plagued Europe in recent decades or with people who come to live among us from other places with very different codes of life, customs and beliefs.

‘From nowhere’ sounds like uprooting, in the absence of integration. Who suffers it more, the young or the old?

Young. They see themselves between two worlds, that of their parents and their customs and that of our codes of values. Managing this is very complicated and sometimes they feel like they are nowhere. They are not from the world of their parents, but they do not end up being accepted by the new society in which they live. They end up being strangers to themselves. That causes anger, anger, frustration and uprooting.

Where are the limits of tradition and customs when it comes to adapting to new codes and customs?

It is not a problem of limits, they live that duality. And each one has to manage it as best they can. We are watching the violent acts of Paris, where young people have outbursts of anger. And what happens to these young people is that they feel from nowhere. Society looks at them with suspicion and they do not finish integrating. I also propose in the novel how to manage this uprooting, and the third element of this work is the role of the media and what is behind them. There is an important part of the novel that happens on a television set.

You yourself have said that your novel, which began almost three years ago, looks like something out of the pages of a newspaper. How did you feel when you saw the latest events in Afghanistan?

I was very impressed. I felt enormous rage at the way USA and the West have left Afghanistan. The Taliban have come to Kabul without shooting, they have allowed them to arrive. The West has not done things well in that country, but a door to hope had been opened, especially in the field of women. And now we have left them in the hands of true executioners of freedom.

Nobody understands how the European Union fails to prevent atrocities like this. Do we find the answer in your novel?

I do not give answers, I ask why, and each reader must give their own answers.

Immigration has been a constant in our history. Why don’t we know how to manage the current exoduses?

Because now they are much more massive and continuous than before. In the EU, which should be a land of asylum, dealing with the dignity that all immigrants deserve, sometimes it is not done. It is shameful that there are refugee camps within the EU.

Do you think that we have not been educated to live with other cultures and customs?

It is a problem of two directions, of those who arrive and of those who are. It is something that we have to do together, find those points that allow us that normal and peaceful coexistence.

He claims that he would travel to the future if he had a time machine. Are you not afraid of what is about to come to judge by what there is?

I would travel to the future out of curiosity, we already know the past. I do not see a dire future and I believe that today’s society is much better than a century ago.

What is your favorite character in this novel?

That of Nora, Abir’s cousin, who is a terrorist. She decides to take the step to freedom, even though she pays the tremendous price of being excluded from her community.


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