HAND LUGGAGE

Sara Zunino - Italy

HAND LUGGAGE

Hbiba Ciao (*)
«Tomorrow when you'll wake up you won't find me
oh darling goodbye, bye bye bye
Turn on the TV, maybe you'll see me
hopping on Italian ground».
[…]
«Be it that we see that paradise with our eyes
oh darling goodbye, bye bye bye
be it that we drown and die without a grave
my soul will come back to you swimming».

(*) “Hbiba Ciao” was written in 2011 by the Tunisian artist Bendir Man on the melody of “Bella Ciao”

To limit the freedom of movement of human beings is one of the greatest current social injustices.
In the world, every two seconds a person is forced to leave her or his own house due to conflict or persecution.
After the shipwreck of Lampedusa on October 3rd, 2013, in which 368 migrants died, there have been increased efforts to identify the bodies of people who lost their lives while crossing the Mediterranean.
Coroners, anthropologists and CSI-units have started classifying objects, personal belongings, documents found among the corpses of the migrants.
Today these objects tell stories that their owners cannot tell anymore.
The long and difficult process that leads to the identification of a body is crucial to allow families to cope with their loss, in order to give back dignity to those human beings who are at risk of becoming figures in the statistics of our public debates.
Among the objects that are often found on the corpses – usually in a pocket, in a backpack or even sown into their clothes – there are small plastic bags containing sand or soil from their home-country.
Because in the very moment when you leave your country, your home, your beloved ones, hoping for a better future, without knowing if and when you'll be back, the act of carrying with you a few grams of soil is a powerful gesture that connects you with your memories and your roots.
Over the past five years it is estimated that at least 15.000 people have died on the route that leads from North Africa to Italy.

THE ARTWORK

Every plastic-bag is accompanied by the gelocation-coordinates of the area where the soil was retrieved. All plastic bags look the same, the coordinates are numbers and letters.
This extreme uniformity aims at stressing that there is no difference between one place and the other, between one human being and another in the very moment in which people migrate and leave their place of origin. Without knowing whether they'll ever come back.

THE COORDINATES

1. 21 ° 27'04.9''N 22 ° 38'03.6''E - Desert of southern Libya
2. 18 ° 22'24.1 "N 68 ° 50'34.6" W - Baia Hibe, Dominican Republic
3. 35 ° 33'10.0''N 1 ° 11'47.6''W - Plage de Sbeaat, Algeria
4. 40 ° 53'11.2''S 173 ° 02'49.5''E - Tonga Bay Beach, New Zealand
5. 39 ° 49'56.0''N 9 ° 40'53.2''E - Barì Beach, Bari Sardo, Sardinia, Italy
6. 36 ° 13'43.7''N N ° 26'57.0''E - Kaputas Pamphilia, Turkey
7. 33 ° 26'13.9''N 8 ° 54'48.9''E - Sahara sand, Zaafrene, Tunisia
8. 53 ° 26'23.0''N 10 ° 04'17.2''W - Mannin Bay, Connemara, Ireland
9. 35 ° 13'55.0''N 23 ° 40'42.5''E - Pahia Ammos, Paleohora, Crete, Greece
10. 44 ° 17'40.3''N 9 ° 22'12.6''E - Cavi Beach, Cavi di Lavagna, Liguria, Italy
11. 43 ° 46'37.8 "N 11 ° 13'41.1" E - Riva dell'Arno, Florence, Italy
12. 14 ° 02'17.0''N 16 ° 43'32.6''W - Mboss, Senegal
13. 16 ° 02'33.4''N 108 ° 15'07.5''E - Danang Beach, Northern Vietnam
14. 42 ° 57'40.5''N 9 ° 27'06.8''E - Macinaggio beach, Corsica
15. 20 ° 05'01.7 "N 57 ° 49'31.4" E - Governorate of al-Wusta, Oman
16. 20 ° 54'51.2''N 27 ° 37'28.6''E - Nubian Desert, Wadi Halfa, Sudan
17. 52 ° 35'54.1''N 13 ° 13'27.9''E - Baumberge, Heiligensee, Berlin, Germany
18. 26 ° 33'28.4''N 70 ° 44'00.3''E - Thar Desert, Janra, Rajasthan, India
19. 51 ° 16'34.2''N 3 ° 01'28.9''E - De Haan, Belgium
20. 31 ° 04'39.5''N 3 ° 59'12.4''W - Dunes of Merzouga, Erfud, Morocco
21. 35 ° 30'47.2 "N 12 ° 33'27.1" E - Spiaggia dei Conigli, Lampedusa, Italy

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Artwork Details

Installation - Other
Artwork Size - Width 300 | Height 8 | Depth 15
Created on 15 December 2009

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