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The sea we share

Digital content

As part of the exhibition “Leopoldina Rosa: a story of today”, the Basque Maritime Museum is launching a project called The sea we share, alongside freelance journalist Ane Irazabal. The purpose of the initiative is a reflection on the similarities and differences between migratory phenomena of the 19th century and their modern counterparts. The journalist and the Museum will conduct an analysis of migrations by sea, their causes, and the organisations working with migrants.

The project is composed of three videos which will be published one after the other each Wednesday, starting on 14 April, through Instagram Reels and the museum’s YouTube channel.


In the 19th century millions of Europeans went to sea in search of a better future; most of them were headed for countries on the American continent. In the 21st century, on the other hand, sea travel is the only option for thousands and thousands of migrants. Would you like to find out more about sea migrations?


The 19th century was a complicated century featuring the social revolution and the industrial revolution, and the economic and political structures of previous centuries were torn down. The consequences of these processes led people to migrate.

In our 21st century migration has many faces, the faces of many people fleeing political instability and civil wars.


In the 19th century the recently emancipated American Republics propitiated the arrival of emigrants to these countries. Companies also worked with migrants to take them there, and very often they paid off their passage to America by working in the country.

In the 21st century we are now seeing that in recent years Europe has built walls and fences, and has closed its borders … the message conveyed by Europe is: “You are not welcome”.