Ongoing project, started 2009
*Photo and Video documentation
Transforming flags’ specific nature of identifying a country and its population into an object of sharing. The word on each flag connects the place of the performance with another place on the planet sharing some affinities suggested by performers. Designs are suggested during interviews with performers as well and each flag is stitched by local workers.
Srilanka, Mongolia, Italy, Hungary, Cina, Romania, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Italy, Bosna y Herzegovna, Republic of korea, Germany, Poland
National identity is a major debate everywhere in contemporary society and maybe it has always been, probably because as human beings we need to know who we are, and therefore we want to define who the ‘others’ are in order to simplify things. Populistic movements are on the rise in many countries and not only in Europe, where we can experience this trend especially in those countries suffering an economical stagnation or recession; Greece for example, but also Poland, France, Italy and Spain but also The Netherlands, once known for its tolerant approach to differences.
Another hot trend is separatism, even if its goals are usually far from reality. Look at Scotland, Catalunia, separatist movements in northern Italy or southern Poland, not to mention Crimea.
Separatist movements in all these areas are asking for independence and they all claim their request is based on identitarian issues and usually none of them is also mentioning geo-political or economic interests, sometimes even accusing anybody pointing out this aspects of not supporting their struggle.
Reality is different and most of these conflicts, even those having real identity issues differentiating separatists from the majority of the country’s population like language, culture or even religion, are all based on struggle for power or economic advantages as well.
In this scenario is difficult to define when national identity or separatism are a benefit for the community and when, on the other hand, are just a way to reach mediation between political or economic elites pushing voters towards narrow minded ideologies and behaviors.
In opposition to these views driven by power we can say that people needs concerning quality of life are the same everywhere as what we all need is safety, health, instruction, access to informations and improving our possibilities in the future.
Highlighting the importance of people, connections, migration, global management in opposition to nations and borders is therefore not just a political statement but also an aesthetic operation, portraying mankind starting from characteristics we all share instead of the ones that just a few are sharing at the moment. Deconstructing the hieratic aesthetic of flags and translating it into an informal mix of local materials, approach to design and color matching together with words referring and therefore ideally connecting the place of the performance (or cultural background) with another one on the planet turns these symbols into an intimate representation of ourselves.