In Venice, the exhibition that shames us: exhibits the objects of migrants who died at sea to get to Europe

From May 30 to July 19, taking appropriate security measures, opens Shipwreck Crime, the solo exhibition of photographer Italo Rondinella, which was scheduled to open last March 14, in Venice, inside the old Magazzini del Sale, made available by the Reale Società Canottieri Bucintoro 1882.

The exhibition is sponsored by the UnitedNations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF Italy, the Veneto Region, the City of Venice, Ca’ Foscari University (Dept. of Asian and Mediterranean African Studies), Ateneo Veneto and consists of a number of personal belongings that belonged to the hundreds of people who, hoping to reach European territory, attempted to cross the short stretch of sea separating the Turkish coast from the Greek island of Lesbos. Many of them did not make it.

The objects (clothes, shoes, baby bottles, life preservers and more) were photographed by the author as they were found on the shore and later collected to form, together with the images, the corpus of this exhibition, which aims to restore dignity to the anonymous stories of those to whom they belonged: 44 are the photographs and 44 are the respective objects. The project took place more than two years after the migration flow from Turkey toEurope peaked.

In that stretch of Turkish coast between Babakale and Ayvalık, beaches frequented by vacationers alternate in hiccups with empty stretches, where the objects of the shipwrecked were found. In order to represent these two parallel realities, the author included in the exhibition spaces the sound of the beach frequented by bathers, specially recorded live.

The emotional furrow that separates these two realities on the same stage, the beach, expresses, according to the author, a metaphor for the media representation of the human vicissitude of migrants that loses its natural compassionate dimension to become a mere description of a phenomenon. As the artist concludes, “Shipwreck Crime is therefore not a project about the phenomenon of migration, but about emotion.”

The journey is enriched by a narrative contribution by Anna Lucia Colleo, which can be enjoyed, along with some postcard-sized images, at the entrance of the exhibition route. In line with the security measures taken in the exhibition spaces to protect against coronavirus, entry will be restricted and with mandatory mask.

You can book a guided tour with the artist by calling +39 328 2026139

Italo Rondinella is an Italian photographer and filmmaker who has lived in Turkey for many years. In his work, he alternates between a journalistic commitment (through the production of photographic reports and documentary videos) and a more personal research. In both cases, the themes dealt with have mainly to do with the conflicts of the contemporary global world, the challenges related to them and the resulting social and political changes. His solo exhibition on agri-food biodiversity, commissioned by the EU-funded DYNAVERSITY project, is currently being shown in various exhibition spaces in Italy and other European countries. The exhibition has already been shown in Tuscany, Campania, Lombardy and Denmark and will continue to move according to a program managed by Federparchi (the Italian Federation of Parks and Nature Reserves).

All of Italo Rondinella’s work is collected on his personal website:

For all information you can call +39 041 5205630.

Pictured: Italo Rondinella, Shipwreck Crime, Turkish coast of the northern Aegean (2017)

In Venice, the exhibition that shames us: exhibits the objects of migrants who died at sea to get to Europe
In Venice, the exhibition that shames us: exhibits the objects of migrants who died at sea to get to Europe

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