Shipwreck of Dreams
Dates2019 - Ongoing
- Topics Awards, Contemporary Issues, Documentary, Festivals, Photobooks, Portrait, Social Issues
- Location Switzerland
Embarking on the quest for social visibility, 'Shipwreck of Dreams' attempts to deconstruct the representation of migration by reframing a myth of a wish-granting boat.
”People would spend days and nights at the lake margins, longing to see the magical ship and have their desires met”, a forgotten legend once told.
‘Shipwreck of Dreams’ follows the stories and traces of a self-organized school that roams in Zurich searching for a place. Listening to the wisdom shared by the school’s interconnected multiple voices that meet at the crossroads of European migration policies. Together they tell stories about what to consider home.
The school ‘Autonome Schule’, is a grassroots movement composed of locals and migrants in Zurich. It emerged in 2008 during the struggle against the new Swiss asylum law, which has become one of the strictest procedures in Europe. Its history is marked by the constant search for a permanent free space. Squatting, re-locations, and solidarity have built its identity. Since then, the school has been an emancipatory political project against racism and social injustice. Mainly the school offers free access to German language classes for illegalized people and migrants. Furthermore, it is a platform to discuss and critique the Swiss-European migration policies of illegalization and a safe space where unrepresented people can play an active role in voicing their demands.
The project began when I landed at the school, to learn German and actively started to participate in some working groups. Engaging in a process of conversations with migrants, activists, and other people who passed through the school’s history, became a key point of the research.
On this journey, a series of collaborative portraits were set up to invite people from the school to share their own dreams, hopes, and fears, drawing inspiration from the myth of the wish-granting boat: Empowering them to share their experiences by writing them on a paper ship hat.
‘Shipwreck of Dreams’ seeks to connect the invisible traces of a grassroots space created by illegalized people and enhance the often unheard voices of those displaced to tell their own stories and dreams. Through photographs, moving images, drawings, and words, the project tries to address the uncertain circumstances of migration.
*The project is part of the ongoing collection of works entitled 'La memoria es un pantano' (Memory is a swamp). Those artworks are based on the research and revisiting of myths, local stories, and oral memory to embrace and retell these narratives in a changing contemporary world. The different projects seek to open spaces for collaborative work contexts, reframing visions and speculative narratives.