Palermo - art  and community project, 2018

Short Project Description

Migration has contributed to the richness in diversity of cultures, ethnicities and races in developed countries in many ways. Despite the negative connotations and consequences attributed with mobility of humans from one part of the world to another, our project looks at cultivating a healthy society where a migrant is not looked down on due to his or her status but is availed equal opportunities.

In collaboration with two migrants and a local guide who doubles as a translator, we have made a series of video interviews where migrants in Palermo own the narrative by engaging professionals to know more about the requirements, specializations, duties and economic viabilities of the job market.

Thereby inventing an open access platform that uses storytelling and video documentary to share dialogues pertaining to job access as indigenous Europeans or settlers come into contact with newcomers in Europe.

Development of Project

We are immensely grateful for the support of Centro Astalli, Multivolti, Avvenira and other organizations on the ground who opened their doors for us to conduct our research and interviews towards a successful project. We are looking forward to continue filming local workers who are managing or are employed in diverse jobs. In our first phase, we interviewed a construction worker, butcher, lawyer, glazier, waitress, hairdresser, librarian, driver and artisan. The professionals get to share about the educational, theoretical and practical skills needed for their jobs, and the relative remunerations depending on the levels on the job market scale. Some employees shine light on availability of jobs for migrants depending on their skill sets.

We believe that in this ripe age of accessible technology, video can be a pertinent tool to document and share educative products like ours as projected from the meeting point of our art and community work. We look to motivate, educate and conscientize people about the

benefits of integration and diversity in our societies. The first phase of our project ended in the two week frame that we had been invited to work in as part of Manifesta 12.
Looking at the response and potential, we see a productive future ahead of this concept, as such the importance to connect with collaborators and organizations in Palermo. Are you interested in migrant issues? Are you motivated to further explore extensions and cross cultural manifestations of bridging the gap between migrants and ready or new job markets? Do you believe in integration based on an open mainstream receiving culture?

Continuity, coexistence, connectivity and community

As part of the Arts & Globalization program 'Art & Connectography: Remapping the Global World through Art' for Manifesta 12 Collateral Events in Palermo this year, Danish artist Kenneth Balfelt and Kwame Aidoo from Ghana collaborated with local guide/translator Luca Mangano and Palermo newcomers Mustapha and Amadou. To expand on the connections between migration and its impacts on labour markets, ‘Migrant Resources’ was created. Through layers of conversation, documentation and performative forms, we used participatory methods to process how sojourners and settlers make sense of spaces and invest senses into new vicinage.

In this age of hyperconnectivity and neoteric impacts of mobility, 'Migrant Resources' uses contextual and contingent methods to reimagine human representation in the shaping of pluralistic landscape where the narrative is whole and even-handed. As artists, we weave in culture, discursive symbolism and intersecting influences to better digest and communicate perspectives that go to interrogate the framework of the native community and its connection to the newcomer.