Pluralism, artistry and life in motion

For several years, Jorn Schafaff, together with a group of researchers, artists, scientists and activists, has been part of the project Beyond Migrations (beyond migrations) and studies the multiple effects of migrations in different regions of the world. Knowing the linguistic, cultural, artistic and social consequences is now a priority, trying to understand what the new life is like for those who arrive (when you arrive) but also how the lives of those who welcome it change and what new and powerful influences permeate it.

Here is an idea philheit. Stories from a post-migration society (Curated by Jorn Shafaf, Kunst Merano Merano Arte, until September 24, 2023), a collection of individual and group stories such as the story of Sadjo Sow who arrived in Merano from Mali. He tells us: “I am from Gao, from a peasant family, we grow maize and peanuts – ‘Tiga teg’ is one of the most famous Malian dishes: rice seasoned with peanut sauce – and when I was young we had a cow and a goat». The naming of those (original) places and our vacant gaze that instead orients itself only when you locate and imagine that region in northeastern Mali, which is very hot and already exists south of the Sahara, mired in war and Islamic fundamentalism since 2012 (in addition to the Wagner Brigade, there Also the Islam and Muslims Support Group, a financial branch of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara). “I left one day heading north, Algeria then Libya then Italy and landed but no, I don’t know if it was Calabria or Sicily, then I arrived at the Albi Hotel in Bolzano. The strangest thing is getting used to the rush. With us, when everyone is in a hurry, it means that something is wrong, something serious is happening. Instead, I had to get used to a different, natural ‘wheel’.

Sago’s story Listen to him sitting on the podium designed by Rikrit Travanega (Untitled 2023 (Neighbours) But you only need to turn around to hear the girl from Bern – an Albanian girl who says she doesn’t know how to make “borek” – or the girl from Salvatore who arrives from Caserta to Dubai and then to Merano, where he works as a cook. in Inventur – Metzstrasse 11by Serbian director Selimir Šelnik (1975), the building’s residents – one by one – descend condominium stairs and pause briefly on the landing, introducing themselves: they are all gasstarpeters who have arrived in Monaco from Greece, Italy and Turkey on business.

Pinar Ugrinci, born in Van in Kurdistan, follows, but differs and inevitably happens – we are in 2021 – Zelnik’s example. In Inventur 2021, he makes the residents of Chemnitz, the former Karl Marx-Stadt in Saxony, talk – but only how and as much as they want: Kurdish families who left the region of Derik (south of Diyarbakir and a few kilometers from the Syrian border) and then moved to Kiziltepe, Izmir, and via Romania, Hanover and finally Berlin (long and tiring journeys and fortunately the children tell you about their favorite football club, right there in Germany) but also the father of a young Palestinian who arrives here who marries the Gaza Strip and works as a translator as did Antje, who was born in Chemnitz and lived for years unwelcome In West Germany (“many prejudices about those who came from East Germany and from Saxony in particular”) he returned to Chemnitz happily. And then the Iranians, Indonesians, Jordanians, and especially the Kurds.

A man comes In a bare and decent little apartment. He is alone, he has a bag, he goes to the balcony and looks outside. That’s how it starts the song (2022) The work of Bani Abedi, a Pakistani artist, explores the weight of foreign silences and the importance of reconstructing the memory of familiar voices. The memory of the chaotic noise (and golden light) of the streets of Damascus creates in man a great inner void that finds a sounding board in the clear and cold light of Berlin and in the quiet of a suburb. Then he begins to experience the sounds of the many objects/tools he is moving as well – and his thoughts turn to subtle and detailed kinetic and sonic contraptions. The way things are By Fischli and Weiss – he synthesizes and animates them until, around him, he has a well-known and familiar sound structure not too far away – says Beni Abedi – from the sound cloud that almost all of us have now as we move, those kinds of sound bubbles that protect and create our emotions.

Restore environments, this time not resonant architecture but micro-architecture is what Ekaterina Stefanescu does, in Rooms (2022), reconstructing everyday environments such as supermarkets and convenience stores, from the immigrant dimension. He discovers a small Romanian supermarket in Berlin where he makes friends with the cashier and with a customer, and decides to reproduce the space using modelling, in accordance with his training as an architect. Thus the miniature spaces that the audience reaches (by eyes only) from above, climb a step and are a magician in action: long blue nails collect using pliers microscopic shapes cut out of small foods in colored paper.

He puts them down by meticulously gluing them one on top of the other. Here are shelves full of roasted bell peppers, pickled beets and watermelon, and dining tables with red, fuchsia and blue tablecloths dotted with Balkan citrus green motifs. In short, the flavors, flavors and colors of the house. Vocal memories, visual memories, olfactory memories and finally the embroidered memory of the Bengali woman to whom the Indian artist Pradeep Das (Calcutta) entrusted the execution of the magnificent. Golden Wall II (2022), a wall of gold cloth on which they can freely ‘write’ their memories in a wonderful mix of old and new, contemporary and ancient mythology, food, weapons, or board games. One might also think of everyone boettiani But here the pictures fall into a sea of ​​gold, quiet and rarefied.

It’s memories of those who, at the end of the forties due to the great famine, poured in from East Bengal (now Bangladesh) to Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal. “I gave no indication. I just told them to write their golden memories here and they did: a big fish containing a small fish, a symbol of a mother with baby and still pieces of fish arranged on a tray or colorful balloons flying next to a watermelon slice and a gun,” says Pradeep Das. My ancestors come from what is now Bangladesh, and fish is a staple of our Bengali culture.”

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