Independently Together is a collective project, an exhibition built up through different voices of women and men, all from different creative fields and all coming from foreign countries and meeting in today’s Italy, which everyday turns out to be more contradictory.
The project has born from a discussion about the meaning of being a foreigner in our country, about the cultural background, the sense of national belonging and about clichés and shallowness’ rounding around the concept of immigration. The objects within the installation in their dynamic and surreal set ups shot by Giulia Pittioni have been travelling companions to these 10 creative people – all Milanese by adoption- and have been the witness to the times of change and adaptation in their new hometown. These pieces have an intrinsic value that can be recognized only by those who have conferred it to them: a bra, a knife, a cup, a Diabolik comic book and many other small pieces, acting like a wunderkammer of memories that help us discover the unique story of every immigrant, making part of the project.
The concept of migration and travelling leads us to meditate on the questions surrounding the “multiple sense of national belonging” of the migrant, “identity”, dropping out the mother language and other controversial conditions of the migrant in a foreign country. Independently Together aims to acknowledge these migrants, “the different ones” – before anything- as those who bring positive change: in other words, the cultural background and perspective that each person coming from a different country brings can melt together, fusing to create a contemporary, cosmopolitan and inclusive society.
Micaela Flenda & Pelin Sozeri
MEETING POINT: A journey into diversity
Stranger, foreigner, different. Conversations about diversity and inclusiveness are often made in a consolatory tone; idealistic, or even superficial.
Instead, the discourse about diversity can become a new type of narrative if we could learn to abandon the common rhetoric and reject our concept of difference, whilst we deal with the stress of listening, the effort of understanding, of observing and considering how every day we all share the same experiences: we suffer, we worry, we are happy.
It is also true that diversity has aways been considered as an added value, if not fundamental for the creative process in artistic environments. These type of environments are a place where barriers fall down and you communicate through a common language, that everyone understands; a place where cultural baggage becomes a very important element in order to facilitate the dialogue.
Traveling when you decide to move and live in a different country is not just a physical movement. It is an interior journey, a hard one, but at the same time marvelous. In order to discover yourself and others, you learn to see yourself as others see you (others being the people encountered or lost while migrating.) Change brings fear, but at the same time hope. It gives you the possibility to share your experiences and habits, while on the other hand absorbing new mechanisms, meeting the unexpected, facing countless adventures.. discovering yourself.
This essay does not end with a detailed report about today’s situation in Italy, Europe or in the whole world. The latest, sad (or in many cases, horrific) events, to which we have been spectators, deal with closed harbours, hunger, racism.. all caused by fear of losing? Here we are going to address this theme through the stories of those who found a new home in Italy (or viceversa), who don’t feel different.. not at all. Because diversity is valued only once it becomes a means to make our lives better and richer.
The protagonists of the exhibition are all creatives, coming from all over the world, who chose Milan as their new home.
I don’t think about creativity as a category, but as an aggregation space without barriers. Not a label we have to wear daily for the skin and eye color, or a label marking where we come from, but a place that collect thoughts against annoying stereotypes, in order to raise the bar and spread a simple message; diversity is synonymous with strength and that together we are better.