UNTITLED: The Asylum Seeker
April 2019
Curated by Catarina Lorenzetti

Following the EU-Turkey agreement, new border barriers in the Balkans, and an agreement between Italy and Libya, the number of asylum seekers arriving in Europe decreased considerably since its peak between 2015-2016, but tens of thousands of people continue to flee their homes escaping poverty, natural disasters, religious or political persecution, and war. Some of them are seeking asylum or international protection, but all are running away from something—wars, violence, persecution, natural disasters, extreme poverty, epidemics. And all have hope in their hearts: Europe, a continent that has unfortunately witnessed an increasing anti-immigration feeling.

UNTITLED: The Asylum Seeker is an immersive artistic installation born from Loenzetti’s personal meetings with Tony (20), Ebenezer (17), Cletus (38), Lucky (35), Lovely (35), Joe (27), Abou ( 15), Lending (15), Lassana (17), Abdul (28), Ismaël (16), Naby (15), Adama (16), Osman (37), Tariq (28) and Ismail (36), a group of friends who arrived in Italy during the summer 2017 from Nigeria, Ghana, Sudan, Senegal, Gambia, Costa Ivoriana, Guinea Conakry, and Afghanistan. Everyone, except for the Afghans who crossed the Balkans, passed the Libyan imprisonment. All, without exception, are victims of sexual harassment, extreme physical and psychological violence and subjected to torture and loss of third parties, family and friends.

An international project developed around an installation of images, video, and audio, Lorenzetti’s work intends to leave aside the migration statistics for a moment in a humble and personal attempt to give a human response to this humanitarian crisis. UNTITLED: The Asylum Seeker attempts to connect the public with the stories of the people she met and photographed, creating a platform to ensure that their voices, their dreams, their fears, and their hopes are heard.

Catarina Lorenzetti, UNTITLED: The Asylum Seeker, 2018