Fire at Sea
Thurs 9 February, 7 – 9:45pm
A talk and film screening about the deadly power of the sea in shaping the lives of displaced people at the EU Mediterranean borders.
The evening will feature a screening of Fire at Sea by Gianfranco Rosi, winner of the Golden Bear at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival in 2016. The film is a beautifully made and powerful documentary about Lampedusa, one of the main ports of entry for migrants coming from the shores of Northern Africa by boat.
The screening will be preceded by a presentation from Goldsmith Lecturer Lorenzo Pezzani (Goldsmiths) including a talk and screening of his short film Liquid Traces. His research investigates the violence inflicted at and through the sea, focusing on the conditions which have turned the Mediterranean into a military-humanitarian border zone. His insights into how new structures of power, law and surveillance are leading to ever more perilous migrations will provide a unique introduction to the film screening.
Organised by Itinerant Works.
Part of the exhibition
About Fire at Sea
Winner of the Golden Bear for Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival 2016, Gianfranco Rosi’s incisive, poignant and deeply moving portrait of the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa - and the humanitarian crisis occurring in the seas around it - is both a masterly work of documentary filmmaking and a timely call for urgent action.
Situated 150 miles south of Sicily, Lampedusa has hit headlines as the first port of call for hundreds of thousands of African and Middle Eastern refugees hoping to make a new life in Europe. After spending months living on the island and engaging with its inhabitants, Rosi accumulated an incredible array of footage, portraying the history, culture and daily lives of the islanders. Focusing on 12-year-old Samuele, as he explores the land and attempts to gain mastery of the sea, the film slowly builds a breathtakingly naturalistic portrait of the Lampedusan people and the events that surround them.
The result is a lyrical, poetic and searingly powerful documentary that casts neither judgement nor aspersions, but simply shows the world to the viewer - to utterly devastating effect.
About Lorenzo Pezzani
Lorenzo Pezzani is Lecturer in Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. His work deals with the spatial politics and visual cultures of migration, with a particular focus on the geography of the ocean.
Pezzani is part of the research team at Forensic Oceanography, an initiative with Charles Heller, produced in collaboration with the Forensic Architecture agency at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths. Forensic Oceanography critically investigates the militarised border regime in the Mediterranean Sea, mapping the liquid geographies of maritime jurisdictions in order to document the violence perpetrated against migrants at sea. By producing maps, visualisations, human right reports, videos, articles, exhibitions and websites, Forensic Oceanography interrogates this maritime sensorium in the attempt to challenge the regime of visibility imposed by surveillance means and become a tool in the struggle for freedom of movement.
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