SEVENTEEN MINUTES TILL PARADISE (still) – Single channel video installation, 9′ (looped). Ventimiglia/Mentone, Italian/French border (2021).
Seventeen minutes till paradise – Part of the project research trajectory Islands of Time – Location 05 Ventimiglia/Mentone, Italian/French border.
Seventeen Minutes Till Paradise is an experimental film that follows the migrants transiting within the area of the Western Italian-French frontier. This border zone is the protagonist of daily attempts to cross the distance that separates the city of Ventimiglia(Italy) and Mentone(France) towards other European countries. The city of Ventimiglia and the related French-Italian border transformed into a brutal frontier for migrants in transit to France. The territory became one of the protagonists of migratory struggles when, after suspending the Schengen agreement, the debate between the two governments blocked the passage of Tunisian migrants who landed in Lampedusa after the revolution of 2011. Yet, far from resolved, this area is still the stage of border violence, spatial confinement, and geo-political oppression dynamics.
In the course of migration, the concept of border often ideologically instrumentalized. A Border is a place, a territory where the notion of past and future are permanently clashing. The structure envisioning Europe as a continent with precise borders has been present since the origin of the European Union. Different delimitations of “Europe” have been proposed within such subdivisions based on geography, history, culture, and religion, but they rely primarily on political and ideological perceptions. Such distribution of territories imagines border areas as a political-economical hegemonic system ruling over different social categories. In these terms, the principle of mobility between territories also has to deal with power relations, filtered through the net of borders, barriers, and geographic limits intended as mechanisms of repression and privileges. Gazing through changing meanings and connotations associated with particular physical ‘places,’ the video installation compares the state of immobility that prevents bodies from crossing uneven balances and matters of exploitation – be they represented by temporary settlements, connection points, crossing paths, train stops, or bridges. The distance that separates Ventimiglia and Mentone is approximately 11.4 km, seventeen minutes, with an average train ride. Seventeen minutes for reaching a possible paradise, a simple privilege reminding us that bodies are still clearly distinguished between those who can freely move, travel, and migrate and those who are considered as disposable.
SEVENTEEN MINUTES TILL PARADISE (installed view) – Single-channel video installation on horizontal screen and inflatable latex air balloons./ Di bestie, uomini e dei – Spazio Florida, Genoa, 2023.
SEVENTEEN MINUTES TILL PARADISE (stills sequence) – Single-channel video essay installation, 9’[looped] (2021)