Seeds For Future Memories
Voicing the two ends of migration
Exchange project, exhibitions, conference, interventions
Seeds For Future Memories was a cooperation between the artist residencies of Thread in Sinthian, Senegal/Le Korsa, and the artist house Villa Romana in Florence, Italy.
Tambacounda in the region of Southeast Senegal has the highest migration rate in West Africa. It is also a crossroads on the dangerous route to Mali and on to Agadez and Sabha in Libya. Less than ten percent of migrants reach their destination, Europe, where they usually end up in refugee camps. The others die during the journey or end up in prison. Today, in Tuscany, tens of thousands of inhabitants are of Moroccan, Senegalese, Nigerian or other national origin. The African diaspora in Italy also includes the 300,000 migrants who have survived the perilous journey across the Mediterranean in the last two years. Speaking directly with many of these migrants (and not with their families back home) they feel it wasn’t worth taking the risk of such a journey. The lack of work in Europe is a problem, the journey itself, as well as the time spent in refugee camps, traumatizing, the loneliness of life in Europe can be devastating.
One major aspect of the project was the creation of a pool of narratives with the aim of overcoming the one-sided invention of the ‘other’ on both sides. Artists researched mythologies imagining the West, driven by hope, pride, heritage, familial pressure, and story-spinning, and on the other hand point to hidden effects of neo-liberal globalization, rapid urbanization, land grabbing and the negative impact of climate change. The participating artists are transmitters and open up spaces for dialogue. Therefore, the focus of this project was to create joyful efforts to understand eternal migration as a challenge for new needs and new human relationships.
The works realized during the project have been exhibited in Berlin at ifa Galerie, Freiraum in der Box and ACUD Galerie and in Florence at Villa Romana.
Participating artists: Aliou (Badou) Diack, Giovanni Hänninen & Alberto Amoretti, Mohamed Keita, Patrick Joel Tatcheda Yonkeu, Justin Randolph Thompson, Johanna Bramble, Juan Pablo Macías, Fabrice Monteiro, Mario Pfeifer, Judith Raum, Lerato Shadi, Leone Contini, Negga Dou Tamba.
The Symposium Transverse Trajectories at Villa Romana in Florence, 2019, dealt with the ruined landscapes of the so-called peripheries, with rural areas as silent witnesses of capitalist (neo)-colonial practices and their mobilization of raw materials, goods and people. Colonial methods of monoculture, plantation economies, standardisation and labour migration are still present in the Global South and cause serious ecological damage in the form of erosion, pollution, contaminated soils and the disappearance of biodiversity. With contributions by Angelo Matteo Caglioti, Cascone+Laddaga/CODESIGNLAB, Leone Contini, Luigi Coppola, Raphaël Grisey, Lerato Shadi, Alafuro Sikoki-Coleman, Åsa Sonjasdotter, Justin Randolph Thompson, Bouba Touré, Stefano degli Uberti.
Interventions and exhibition in Tambacounda have been joined by the artists Binta Diaw (Milan, Italy), Raul Walch (Berlin), Saliou Diop (Tambacounda, Senegal), Thomas Dirrix (Rotterdam, Netherlands) Jeewi Lee (Berlin) and theatre group Kaddu Yaraax (Dakar, Senegal). The artists followed an invitation of activist and rapper Negga Dou Tamba to participate at the Festival de l’Union in Tambacounda in February 2020.