Across the Border


Manifesta12 Biennial

Srilanka, Mongolia, Italy, Hungary, Cina, Romania, Netherlands, Ukraine, Spain, Bosna y Herzegovina, Spain, Republic of Korea, Russia, Germany, Poland, Russia, Australia, France, Brunei, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Lebanon, Colombia, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Oman, Sweden, United Kingdom, California

After globalisation

Across The Border is a participatory project that transforms the specific nature of flags – the identification of a territory and its population – in a spontaneous connection tool. The word on each flag, suggested by the performer or by a local person interviewed previously, it is in fact chosen to ideally connect the place of performance with another place on the planet sharing some characteristics with it.
The contents are not limited and those chosen vary from geographical references to puns, irony, criticism or awareness while places assume different meanings depending on the performers’ intentions: sometimes that specific location has a precise meaning, while sometimes the city or the nation themselves have greater significance, referring to conflicting issues such as personal and collective identity.

Filippo Minelli Flags
Filippo Minelli Flags

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.

In this scenario is difficult to define wether 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.

The design of each flag is planned or agreed with performers and each flag is realised by local workers, underlying the importance of individuality as the ultimate form of diversity, in opposition to the fixation of diversity represented by physical and ideologic borders. The project is therefore referred to a new shared identity, outlined by the circulation of informations and experiences, narrating contemporary-age and its appearance in a straightforward way.