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(Women Who Cross Over)

Signs of a new migration of women to Berlin

Site specific art installation with interviews, objects and photography.

10 plexiglass boxes (330x440x200mm) and digital prints

text editing Elena Gianpaoli


Made in collaboration with Rete Donne e V. for the exhibition Erfüllbare Träume? Italienerinnen in Berlin. Sogni realizzabili? Italiane a Berlino curated by Rete Donne and MEK at the Museum Europäischer Kulturen Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

These are women who 'crossed over', over a border a language and expressions, a way of life. They are women of a new mobility, for whom migration was a conscious decision, in the search for well-being, yet not solely in a material sense. These women experience the present day intensively, meet the daily challenge of uncertajnty, and create a basis for a possible new life style. They came to Berlin between 2011 and 2014 with diverse backgrounds and stories, and due to this mobility, a change/has occurred in their life. Their identity can be found in the things that they brought with them: essential objects or genuine amulets that represent their personal relationships, experiences and wishes; remembrances of who thexare and what they wish to become. These are women in a phase of transition, who are participating in a time of social changes in the German capital city.

This installation presents a view of the new Italian migration to Berlin, namely, from a woman's perspective out of the interior of migration, an experience also of an artist who has lived in Berlin since 2012. This artistic work is the synthesis of a comprehensive undertaking, which is the result of personal meetings with women involved in the project and who in various ways are connected with the Berlin group ReteDonne e.V. The author visited them at home and made video interviews. Basing on questionpaires, she searches with these women for the motives leading to migration and ascertains the diverse behaviouralforms in the new country, customs, aspects of language, personal identity and the inevitable process of transition emerging cultural encounters. The artist discussed the objects selected for the installation and then made portraits of each participant in an amusing ambiance.
The boxes show an image of these women, whose faces can be viewed from two opposite standpoints, thanks to
the transparent plexiglass. The relationship between the images and the objects reveals to the observer - as the
artist herself explains precisely - the first/'unveiling' of the identity of the women. The privileged meeting with
the interview partners succeeded with readings of their statements, whose texts were processed and edited by
Elena Giampaoli.

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