Migrant Resources is an art and community project by Kwame Aidoo and Danish artist Kenneth A. Balfelt hosted on Art and Globalization platform: ‘Art & Connectography: Re-mapping the Global World through Art’ for Manifesta 12 Collateral Events in Palermo, Italy in 2018.
Migration has contributed to the richness in diversity of cultures, ethnicities and races in developed countries. In collaboration with two migrants and a local guide and translator, we use a series of interviews to allow documented and undocumented newcomers in Palermo to own the narrative by speaking about their dream jobs and why they want to pursue such career paths. We film local workers managing or employed in diverse jobs, including a construction worker, butcher, lawyer, glazier, waitress, hairdresser, librarian, driver and artisan, while they speak about the educational, theoretical and practical skills needed for their jobs, and the relative remunerations depending on the levels on the job market scale. Some employees shine light on availability of jobs for migrants depending on their skill sets.
We believe in this age of accessible technology, video can be a pertinent tool to document and share this educative product of our art and community work to motivate, educative and conscientize people being integrated in new societies. Our project ends in the two week frame that we have been invited to work in. Looking at the response and potential, we see a productive future ahead of this concept, as such the importance to connect with collaborators and organizations in Palermo.
We use community interactions and video to expand on the connections between migration and cultural practices, products, discursive symbolism and intersecting expressions. Through layers of conversation, documentation and performative forms, we activate participatory methods to process how sojourners and settlers make sense of spaces and invest senses into new vicinage.
In this age of hyperconnectivity and neoteric impacts of mobility, Migrant Resources uses contextual and contingent methods to reimagine human representation in the shaping of pluralistic landscape where the narrative on sensitivity and difference are whole and even-handed.
‘Migrant Resources’ is part of Meeting Grounds (in an outdoor space – a “Global Garden” – in Piazza Magione, Palermo) organized by independent curators Valentina G. Levy and Rikke Jørgensen and Palermo based artist collective Dimora OZ, KAOZ, during the 3-day program on 16th and 17th of June and 1st of July, 2018 consisting of a talk, performance. The talk and screening session was held at Teatro Garibaldi in Palermo.