The initiative — launched in September at the Venice Biennale by the Moleskine Foundation, in partnership with the UNHCR (the United Nations’ Refugee Agency) — will be stopping off in Trieste this weekend.
A product of Venice's AtWork workshop, "Where is the South?" is a project "dedicated to supporting the talent and creativity of young refugees in Italy". It will send a symbolic message on the Kleronia, also known as "the Human Boat", on October 13 as part of the biggest regatta in the world.
"The theme 'Where is the South?' strives to free our mind from all the prejudices and ideologies that crowd our heads when we name the cardinal points, and to reconsider them for what they are: directions", explained curator Simon Njami, who is involved with the project. He added, "if we succeed in doing so, we shall rediscover that South or North do not exist as such but become activated in their meaning by the way we think about them. No matter where we are, there is always a south, and therefore it is us who are entitled to define the meaning of the 'word', because South starts from me."
The project revolves around its aim of "safeguarding lives and supporting the creative potential of refugees for the enrichment and mutual exchange of culture, diversity and perspectives." The "Human Boat" will fly the flag of the UNHCR in support of seafaring culture and its binding laws regarding rescue and welcome, encouraging other regatta participants to do the same.
"The UNHCR is excited to participate as a partner in this initiative, convinced that the Mediterranean Sea must once again become a basin of coexistence and not a symbol of tragedies and closures", commented Carlotta Sami, spokeswoman for the UNHCR.
The notebooks produced by participants of the AtWork project are on display at the Palazzo Querini in Venice until November 24.