Exhibition "Windows on Elsewhere: 60 Refugees, 60 Views"
Institutional Communication Service
24 October 2022
Sixty drawings depicting sixty views from the windows from which refugee men and women from all over the world have looked out after being forced to abandon their lives. Each panel is accompanied by a short story, in which everyone narrates about their elsewhere; a physical place and a symbolic and metaphorical condition constantly present in their lives. This is what the exhibition "Windows on Elsewhere: 60 Refugees, 60 Views", held from 18 to 23 October 2022 on the second floor of Villa Ciani in Lugano, proposed.
The exhibition was featured in conjunction with the Film Festival for Human Rights Lugano (FFDUL), 2022 edition, at the initiative of Amnesty International and with the support of the City of Lugano, the Human Rights Foundation and USI Faculty of Communication Culture and Society. Within the context of Amnesty, the exhibition is part of a series of initiatives called Art for Amnesty.
The project stems from the work of partners within the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society's cultural project entitled "Convergence and Distance" and, more specifically, promoted by the micro-group that worked on the convergence and distance of people in migration, thanks to Professor Jolanta Drzewiecka.
The exhibition, in a partially different version, was shown for the first time by Art for Amnesty at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin.
"This work," Luca Visconti, Dean of the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society at USI, explains, "originates from a desire of the artist Matteo Pericoli to explore windows as an emblematic space of confrontation with reality. The window enframes and limits the gaze on things. It is also a place of paradox because, at the same time, it gives access to the world but separates us by keeping us within a context that is not directly in the outside world. This interest in windows was then directed toward the windows of several refugees, many with stories as heartbreaking as exceptional. The artist asked each of these 60 exiles to send him up to 50 images of what they see from the windows of their homes today. From these images, Matthew produced a single drawing, thorough yet essential. Based on the drawing and following precise directions, each exile later wrote his or her own reflection on the experience of exile and the reconstruction of his or her relationship with the homeland of origin and arrival. Texts and drawings live together, inextricably."
"For us," Luca Visconti continues, "this work is an expression not only of every person's right to protect his or her life by finding refuge in countries that are less risky than their own. It is also an invitation to think about each person's right of movement, aware that no one chooses where to be born, but can -- and should be free to -- choose where to live."