Stefania Rousselle

Immigration Journalism Fellow talks on Senegalese "sea widows" and media coverage of immigration

September 3, 2014

Stefania RousselleIn August 2014, Stefania Rousselle joined the French-American Foundation to talk about her experience as an Immigration Journalism Fellow. In 2013, Rousselle, alongside Maïa de La Baume, was selected to the Immigration Journalism program, receiving funds to pursue a project exploring the struggles of Senegalese women whose husbands have taken to the sea in hopes of emigrating and sometimes disappeared, leaving them with no support. Their work led to the June 2014 publication of “Senegal’s sea widows are well on their way to financial independence” in VICE.

Stefania Rousselle is a French-American, award-winning freelance video journalist based in Paris, France. She covers Europe for the video desk of The New York Times and also works for the International Herald Tribune, Time.com and the Global Post. Her work has appeared on PBS/Frontline, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Elle, France 2, France 3 and France 5. She was a Visiting Scholar at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and holds a MA in history from the Université Paris-Sorbonne. She is particularly interested in social issues.


Could you tell us what are Senegal’s Sea Widows and what inspired you to work on this topic?

What happens to these women after they lose a relative to immigration? Who can they turn to?

What’s the purpose of the association called the “Women’s Collective for the Fight Against Clandestine Immigration”?

Have Senegal’s Sea Widows had an impact in reducing illegal immigration to Europe?

Can you talk about the impact of the French-American Foundation’s Immigration Journalism Fellowship on your work?

What feedback did you receive on your work?