1 / 3       Strait of Sicily, Mediterranean Sea, April 2, 2011. A boat with more than 100 migrants from Tunisia waving at an Egyptian fishing boat to ask for directions to the Italian coast. © Giulio Piscitelli/Contrasto/Réa.

2 / 3       Ras Jedir, Tunisia, March 15, 2011. Refugees who had fled the civil war in Libya arriving at Choucha refugee camp. (The camp was closed in late 2013). © Giulio Piscitelli/Contrasto/Réa.

3 / 3       Giulio Piscitelli during the guided visit to his exhibition From There to Here: Immigration and Fortress Europe. © Stefania Biamonti/FPmag.

Fortress Europe

Of Immigration we generally believe to know if not everything, at least a lot. In fact, regardless of the ideological colouring, which more or less everyone takes on the matter, our knowledge is minimal and superficial. It appears in all its clarity when we visit an exhibition like that of Giulio Piscitelli on display at Couvent des Minimes in Perpignan within the Visa pour l'Image 2015. The work was carried out over the last four years in the countries most affected by the phenomenon: Italy, Spain and Greece on the European side and Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Serbia and Bulgaria regarding the countries of transit. The stated purpose of Piscitelli is to create a visual archive of migration flows and their management as a result of unrest that the present world is going through.
As pointed out by the same photographer during his presentation of the exhibition, the constriction of rights and freedom of movement is the most serious aspect of the phenomenon, well beyond the aspects of anguish that everyone may decline as a function of their own ideas in relation to the relevant issue. The risks and challenges faced by the migrants to find a new perspective of life often end up wrecked or in prisons, where the detention is interpreted with medieval criteria or in submission to any kind of violence in the total absence of rights. Europe imagined and desired as a paradise on earth ends up very often turning into an impenetrable fortress, assuming to be able to get to the point of being able to compare.
The work is complete, despite being basically a work in progress. The images are clear and crisp in stigmatising the situation. Visually striking passages from an initial situation in which spaces appear symbolically closed to indicate a lack of freedom, and then widened during the sea crossings (personally followed by Piscitelli), to situations again closed and claustrophobia at the time of going in to reception centres, or worse, in North African prisons. What we are shown is a world of suffering within which the value of a life is only comparable with the profit that the smuggler of the day can earn. [ S. I. ]

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FROM THERE TO HERE: IMMAGRATION AND FORTRESS EUROPE (2010-2014)
by Giulio Piscitelli
Couvent des Minimes | until September, 13th 2015
admission fee: free

published on 2015-09-06 in NEWS / EXHIBITIONS

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