Read, Debate: Engage.

The art project: Refugees Welcome Germany-Italy (2013-2015)

Author: Ama Lorenz

LIUBA, the Italian multi media and site-specific projects artist dedicated one of her recent works refugees - to their stories and to their rights. She dedicated this work to all the people who must leave their home country and have to rebuild their lives elsewhere.

That’s what LIUBA says about the art project: I arrived in Berlin at the end of 2013. At that time, I immediately realized that the problem of refugees, of their rights and of their documents was very debated and visible in the city. A group of refugees had erected a tent city in Oranienplatz, a square in the central berlin district of Kreuzberg at that time.

“When I was invited to present a performance art piece at the Kreuzberg Pavillon I realized that I was not interested in presenting a work of mine, nor in speaking about me. I wanted instead to give voice and space to the refugees and their problems. Also, because I was aware of that the media, at least in Italy, gave distorted information on the whole issue.

So I decided, in agreement with the organizers, to invite refugees in the Art Space and welcome them.

Furthermore, with this gesture, I wanted to state that life and problems of people are more important than art.

To achieve this goal, apparently easy, I had to work hard in contacting the refugees, hearing their stories, building relationships in order to invite them to come to the gallery.

At the beginning it was not easy for me to get their confidence, but after a while the ‘ice broke’ and important human experiences were born.

The project consists of two parts: the collective performance itself, at the gallery, and the previous, long, site specific work on meeting and knowing refugees and their problems, inviting them to come to the gallery and standing for their rights. The performance is only like the ‘iceberg point’ of a long and deep relational process.”

Have a look at LIUBA’s artwork:

"Refugees welcome",  2013-2015, Germany-Italy, colours, 16’50”

LIUBA … director, concept, editing, performance
Zachary Kirschberg … coproducer
Dominique Rosales … coproducer
Leonardo D'Antoni … camera #1
Sergi Sanchez … coediting, camera #2
Valquire Veljkovic ... camera #3
Giuseppe Tripodi ... sound postproduction
Clio Flego ... artist assistant