A Flower for Samba

Participatory Action
Organised by:

Museo Situado and the Platform in Memory of Samba

Force line:

Action and Radical Imagination

Samba Martine arrived in Spain in August 2011 at the age of 33. A Congolese migrant, she was held at the Melilla Temporary Holding Centre for Immigrants (CETI), where medical tests carried out showed she was HIV positive. Three months later, she was transferred to the Foreigners’ Interment Centre (CIE) in the Madrid neighbourhood of Aluche for her deportation to be processed. After 39 days of confinement and after requesting medical assistance on eleven occasions, on 19 December 2011 Samba died in Madrid’s Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre from an infection that is only fatal when not treated properly.

In a remembrance of Samba on the anniversary of her death, the Platform in Memory of Samba and Museo Situado organised a participatory action involving the creation of a large collective bunch of flowers made up of artworks in different formats and left on 19 December 2020 in the cemetery where her body lies. In total, more than forty works in her memory were submitted.

This podcast, put together by La Sonidera, sees journalist and activist Pablo “Pampa” Sainz recall the way in which events unfolded during his involvement in the committee “Close CIE Centres”, coordinated by the Red de Ferrocarril Clandestino (Underground Rail Network). Nine years on from the death of Samba, a Resolution from Spain’s Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration acknowledges that the actions of public organisations ultimately influenced her cause of death.