These days the Casentino, the green Tuscan valley that laps Romagna and Umbria, speaks of Africa. But on the subject there are no famines, poverty or waste that we are dumping while sustainability is being discussed but an Africa stands as a creative power of beauty, in experience, in artistic and cultural production that too little is told.
Stand up for Africa, since 2016 it has brought artists, workshops and collections to that piece of Tuscany inhabited by centuries-old forests, abbeys, castles and unspoiled nature (the images are from last year’s edition, ed): it is a project conceived by the Hymmo Art Lab of Pratovecchio, in the province of Arezzo, with the care and direction by Paolo Fabiani And Rossella Del Sere. It is strongly encouraged and supported by theCasentino Ecomuseumdirected by the architect Andrea Rossi, which tells us how “Stand up for Africa represents a precious resource also for the Ecomuseum which is not a project linked only to the past, to the interpretations of local traditions and specificities. But it also wants to be a laboratory for the present and therefore as a better tool than contemporary art, to investigate the need for intercultural dialogue, comparison that does not only concern historical inhabitants, but which concerns people who in various ways choose to live on this territory. So it is a real cultural laboratory available to the entire first Arno Valley ”.
The theme of the seventh edition wonders if it is It is really possible to tell the story of migrations, giving back the times of farewell, of travel, of arrivals, of crossing places. Among the children of this immense continent Maurice Pefura born in Paris in 1967 from Cameroonian parents, he lives and works between Milan and Paris, while Zakaria Mohamed Ali Somali director, a refugee in Italy since 2008.
The first, Pefura, architect, painter and multifaceted artist, known for his installations. His research on the relationship between the body and the inner and outer, physical space that we are called to share focuses on the suburbs of the metropolis, and follows the route of lost belonging, and of the new identity that is being built between mixed generations. and geographical (not ideological) boundaries increasingly exceeded. For Stand up for Africa will create an unpublished work expressly conceived for the space of HYmmo Art Lab, centered on theme of living, its flexibility and its permanence. Pefura will also conduct a week-long workshop aimed at four emerging artists: Giovanni Bonechi, Gianluca Braccini, Gianluca Tramonti, Apo Yaghmourian. The results of the workshop will be presented to the public on September 24th at HYmmo Art Lab, Pratovecchio. The exhibition will be visible until October 30th..
Ali instead he worked as a freelancer in Somalia during the civil war. He risked his life several times for his work and in 2007 he left his country, arriving in Italy, across the Mediterranean, in 2008. Zakaria will be a guest at Stand up for Africa for the conclusion of the exhibition, on October 30, to meet the public and present some of his films. The meeting, organized in collaboration with ADMArchive of migrant memories, Rome, will be introduced and mediated by Federico Triulzi.CopyAMP code
So in this difficult and worrying early autumn for everyone I ask Paolo Fabiani if there are different ways to talk about immigration, identity and belonging and what news do you learn in the contamination with these artists? «What we learn in the coexistence of individuals», he tells me, «are direct experiences, told through life. Perhaps more than “novelty” the recovery of those human values that are in the dialogue, in the story, in the common empathy that one exchanges when human lives cross. Migration is, since the world began, a fundamental condition of ‘ human being who has traveled since the beginning, from ocean to ocean; think of the great sculptural works of Rapa Nui, on Easter Island, which is located west of South America, certainly made, we do not yet know with what technique, by the populations emigrated from Polynesia. So art is the fulcrum for the rediscovery of what man has perhaps forgotten ». The wait from the new edition and from the days of workshops, explains Rossi, “The desire we try to share with those who visit the exhibition of the restitution of Maurice Pefura’s workshop, is to try to take a leap into the reality experienced by those who live the journey of migration today”.