From The Island
From The Island
Migration and Memory evoked by epic sea journeys, astronomic exploration and the need to fuel hope in the hearts.
Migration and Memory evoked by epic sea journeys, astronomic exploration and the need to fuel hope in the hearts. Read more
About this project
This project it is a poetic reflection on Interstellar space and epic sea journeys, islands appear as quintessential networks for displacement. At another scale, islands become solitary points surrounded by the sea, like stars mirroring the cosmos and become a metaphor of the infinite sky.
The migrant’s journey across the sea to a better 'economic' life is exemplified by the arduous sea journeys many Senegalese take between Western Sahara and the Canary Islands, the doorstep to Europe; and the journey into the unknown made by the Voyager Spacecraft as it leaves the solar system hoping to contact life. We made the journey from Island to Island in an attempt to capture these stories and find transformative meaning among them.
'Money circulates, goods circulate and if you are lucky and live in the west, you can circulate too'.
Borders are arbitrary lines on maps. November 9th 2014 – the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. We are using that date to launch the “ultimate border project”: merging the iconography and cultural significance of the Voyager space probe, to question the current paradigm in which the majority of the World’s population experience restrictions of their freedom.
In 2012 we travelled to the Nordic Optical Telescope on a volcanic island in the Atlantic off the coast of Western Sahara. The island is a special place in the landscape of borders. The Canary Islands has been in the past 12 years one of the entry points for illegal migrants from Senegal and beyond. The flow of people has reduced in past years, but still continues and many of these people are facing such limited opportunities at home that they are forced to undertake arduous journeys via the Canary Islands to land in Europe.
With the help of astronomers at the facility, we took one last photo of the Voyager space probe as it crossed the boundary between the region of space dominated by the solar wind and the interstellar medium. It is a farewell photograph, as the Voyager has left the solar system. It has crossed the ultimate border.
In so doing it has become the first man-made object to break free of the influence of our solar system. For us, the voyager represents an explorer discovering the cosmos but as well, a message in a bottle, calling for help.
Jimmy Carter wrote in his greeting letter embedded in the Voyager: “ We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope someday, having solved the problem we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations.". To be opened in the far distant future, when we have changed and become unrecognisable, the letter represents, better than almost anything else, mankind's desire to overcome boundaries and to extend frontiers. And yet while we can all appreciate this motive in a metal probe travelling at 50,000 miles an hour, we often fail to see it closer to home.
Faced with massive limitations of opportunity, a migrant stepping onto a cayuco boat destined for the Canary Islands faces incredible hardship because of the borders the west puts up against them. Attempts to protect ourselves and maintain the status quo by building higher walls, and making journeys ever more treacherous and expensive for migrants, come at huge cost to ourselves, and result in segregation and the creation subcultures.
As artists we feel it is our duty to question the paradigm in which this happens. We believe the most powerful way of questioning this paradigm is through art, as art is the last bastion of free expression. Back in 2011 we started on a project to raise awareness of these issues by linking the journey of the Voyager to the flow of migrants through the Canary Islands to Europe.
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Risks and challenges
We have tried to get funding through the normal channels, but not many institutions will support a project as unique and far reaching as ours.
Having collaborated for three years on this project, we have recorded half the footage and sound to complete the film. On location filming in Senegal is key to completing the project, as well as the photography of space, the seascapes, and the migrant people.
Our ambition is to present the final work in an interactive space, comprising film, stills, sound, and light as an installation. With your help, we can complete all the elements of this work and promote it to galleries and festivals abroad.
We have experience working together on location, and with our skills and resourcefulness, are confident that we will be able to capture the essence of the project. We have begun making contacts in Senegal, researching locations and have already created rough cuts and installation prototypes.
We think we can complete this project with a Guerrilla filmmaking approach. Having already invested our resources, we are determined to finish the project, but optimistically seek your help to speed up the process.
So kickstart us to help finalise this project and burst the bubble about migration. Its like having the opportunity to imagine the future or travel back in time, being one of the people who swung a sledge hammer and made a hole in the Berlin Wall or any other one.
We thank you for reading this, and your interest in our project. We hope to collaborate with you soon.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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