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Site specific interactive installation for Croatia Refugee Week 2023 |
organised by Mensch Raum Land
concept and creation by Isadora Canela
collective: Barbara Gabrielle; Bruna Cunha; Manon Cuissard, Marie Fraboulet.

From the ruins to the reunion. In the heart of a rural area in Croatia, the thriving landscape that had seen the transformation from an primary school to a war centre, holds in each bric the local memories as much as a global structure of pain and division. In this body of building the exhibition emerges as an invitation to redraw the lines that shape our imaginaries. What we break and what we nurture. The backdrop of this potent horizon, teeming with layers of history as well as the undeniable future present on the beauty of nature and the kindness of its people. No, the village, the building, the people, the environment, are not a blank canvas, we all come with scars and cartographies, but it’s not done yet. Life is but a transformation. 

What if? This simple and provocative question, posed in various languages, serves as an invitation to imagine boundless alternatives, a world where one’s deepest desires for flourishing take shape alongside a fierce stance against structures that threaten life. In this rural Croatian setting, the exhibition sparks a dialogue between past and present, destruction and creation, history and hope, challenging visitors to consider what they want to see both crumble and bloom in their own lives and communities. Is a manifestation and a manifest, a call for breaking, a call for creating. Community. 

The installations within this exhibition brings the community not only to reoccupy the spaces that rightfully belong to them but to embark on an imaginative journey towards new possibilities for sharing and sowing. 

The process is as crucial as the final result, emphasising an ongoing, communal effort. Led predominantly by women and queer individuals, this creative endeavour collectiveness as the primary means of constructing new realities. The celebration of togetherness is as organic as it is political, fostering unity and solidarity within the community.

room 1

In each life, choices, memories, stories, paths. For each yes the no, for each world the others that were not. In the lightness of childhood dreams, in the loves that have been lost over time, in the journeys we have not made, the friends we no longer see. The wars, the disasters, the maps. We are beings of choices, decisions.

The works presented here pose a routine and at the same time provocative question. “What if?”

In 5 different languages, in every corner of the globe, an invitation to transform. What if we make different choices?

From the intimate to the world. For each “what if?” an infinity of possibilities and the future is still open.

room 2

Who do the edges of the world serve? Which, how many, marks of division and pain are imprinted on map designs? Global geopolitical lines are neither abstract nor realistic, they are in fact lines of wars.

What if we could redraw them? In the subtext of the fluid, spontaneous and almost innocent cartographies of this installation, the power to redefine paths is claimed.

room 3

In a world where towering structures cast ominous shadows of exploitation, division, violence, and trauma upon people, dr dreams, lifes, hopes, our very existence is imperiled. The weight of these oppressive frameworks looms heavily, threatening to crush the essence of our shared humanity. What if we could challenge the perception of these seemingly rigid and immovable entities? What if we could germinate other foundations for a shared future?

Embodying the spirit of hope and transformation, the installation invites us to let ruin oppressive narratives structures and open spaces to imagine alternative pathways.

Coming from the other side of the ocean the brazilian artists fifinds in this not so innocent landscape painful similarities that crosses borders. From the maps of historical harm, the installation invite us to redesign our connections. What if we realise that we’re in the same side?

Amidst the debris of destruction, a fertile soil emerges, bringing the potential for renewal and growth. Within the room, the remnants of dangerous structures is a memory of our own history, is not about forggeting, but to open spaces to sown life.

As the garden of white local flflowers blossoms amidst the ruins, that breaking down walls could lead not to a barren wasteland but to a fertile landscape. In one way or another, we’re all part of the construcion. This installation serves as an invitation to cultivate living foundations, nurturing and embracing the beauty of our diversity that unites us under the possibility of a shared humanity.

room 4

How to get there?

If I cross that line,
If I work harder,
If I have that TV,
If I'm more competitive,
If I sleep less, eat less, love less, live less
If I have more, use more, buy more
If I change my house, my clothes, my name, If I change me
If I behave more, hate myself more, hurt myself more
If I were more like him, if he were less like him, if we forget the "we"
If I'm more and if I'm less
And if, then, after everything, I finally don't go
Maybe then, just like that, I'll get there

A destroyed room, a ladder that goes nowhere, an idea of freedom created never to be reached. This installation is about the narratives present in the oppressive and exploitative structures of capitalism.

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