Lampedusa Mirrors - video

Lampedusa Mirrors is a theatre coproduction between Eclosion d’artistes (Tunis) and Teatro dell’Argine (Bologna) that was conceived in the framework of our Tandem Shaml Cultural Manager Exchanges. In 2015, young theatre makers from Tunisia and Italy developed a gripping performance which reflects on life at the island of Lampedusa as a symbolic site of the ongoing migration crisis.

ECF has been cooperating with independent cultural voices that have repeatedly addressed the inhumane political complexities and heartbreaking realities at our borders in their vital work. As part of a statement on the loss of life at the Mediterranean sea we shared in April 2015, we have asked some of them to share their thoughts in view of their ECF-supported initiatives and feature some of their previous and still ongoing critical media projects, such as Lampedusa Mirrors. 

You can watch a documentary about Lampedusa Mirrors (video makers: Movimienti) and read a short statement (in Italian) from Teatro dell’Argine and Eclosion d'artistes below.

A Lampedusa a ottobre 2014 abbiamo visto turisti in costume da bagno, artisti che facevano le prove, albergatori e pescatori al lavoro. Niente migranti. Il centro d’accoglienza vuoto. Non la solita immagine da telegiornale. “Grazie a Mare Nostrum”, ci disse la sindaca Nicolini. Poi, però, dietro l’angolo, il cimitero delle barche, gli effetti personali, i racconti dei lampedusani, i superstiti eritrei del Comitato 3 ottobre 2013, a ricordare il più grande naufragio del Canale di Sicilia. Il più grande fino ad allora, purtroppo. Non aspettiamo il prossimo, lavoriamo alle leggi, alla coscienza e a saperne di più.

Noi li abbiamo visti. Quelli che vogliono venire in Europa, noi li abbiamo visti. Hanno 10, 15, 20 anni e ne dimostrano 18, 30, 50. “Lo so che rischio la pelle in mare, ma io qui sono già morto. Una speranza al 50% è meglio che nessuna speranza”. Anche a noi serve una speranza. La speranza che possiamo ancora essere umani, non restando sordi alle grida di altri esseri umani. Ci servono leggi adeguate. Ci serve di aprire le orecchie a quelle grida e ci serve il coraggio di parlare per chi non può più farlo.
— Teatro dell’Argine and Eclosion d'artistes (April 22, 2015)
In Lampedusa in October 2014 we saw tourists in bathing suits, artists rehearsing, hoteliers and fishermen at work. No migrants. The welcoming center empty. Not the usual image broadcasted by TV news. “Thanks to Mare Nostrum”, told us Mayor Nicolini. But then, around the corner, the cemetery of boats, the personal effects, the stories told by Lampedusa inhabitants, the Eritrean survivors of the October 3rd 2013 Committee, who were there to remember the biggest shipwreck in the Sicily Channel. The biggest so far, unfortunately. Let’s not wait for the next one, let’s work on laws, on awareness, on knowledge.

We saw them. Those who want to come to Europe, we saw them. They are 10, 15, 20 years old, but look like they are 18, 30, 50 years old. “I know I’m risking life and limb in the sea, but here I’m already dead. A 50% hope is better than no hope.” We need hope, too. Hope that we can still be human, and listen to the cries of other human beings. We need adequate laws. We need to open up our ears to those cries and we need to be brave and speak for those who can no longer speak.
— Teatro dell’Argine and Eclosion d'artistes (April 22, 2015)

Lampedusa Mirrors
Workshops and artistic exchanges between Tunisia and Italy
a project by Eclosion d'Artistes (Tunisia) and Teatro dell'Argine (Italy)
in collaboration with Institut Supérieur D'Art Dramatique and Association L'Art Vivant, Tunis in the frame of programme Tandem/Shaml – Cultural Managers Exchange, an initiative of European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam), MitOst (Berlin), Al Mawred Al Thaqafy (Cairo) and Anadolu Kültür (Istanbul), with support from Robert Bosch Stiftung (Germany), DOEN Foundation (Netherlands) and Mimeta (Norway)