“Where is South?” – AtWork Venezia explores it starting from the sea.

"My Sister's Sea", Yohana Zecarias, AtWork New York "Where is South?"

AtWork’s new chapter in Venice is a collaboration with the UNHCR and is dedicated to the creative potential of every individual, whatever their status.

“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. 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.”

This is the statement by Simon Njami to find common ground from which to start a discussion, stimulate critical thinking, and open a sideways look at issues that seem obvious but, of course, never are.

The chapter takes place in two phases: the workshop, from September 9th to 13th, and the exhibition of notebooks produced by the participants, from September 17th to November 24th, at Palazzo Querini.

The exhibition is hosted inside Rothko in Lampedusa, a contemporary art exhibition promoted by UNHCR, and organized in conjunction with the 2019 Biennale of Art.
In line with the UNHCR collaboration, this Venice chapter of AtWork is dedicated to refugees. Participants will be young people of various origins, backgrounds and status to reaffirm that every human being is endowed with a unique and unrepeatable creative force, whose expression is a contribution to the cultural and human development of the community that surrounds them.

This message is so important to us, we sought to amplify it at the Barcolana; the biggest regatta in the world. On October 13th in Trieste, the Kleronia sail boat will be made available by its owners to bear the UNHCR flag in support of this message. The Barcolana is a large festival of seafarers who convene year after year not only to compete, but to share passions, routes, dreams, and along with them, share a way to experience the sea, the planet: through the culture of the sea.

In support of this culture, and its imperative laws of relief and acceptance, we will symbolically bring to Trieste a manifesto of the sea conceived during the Venice AtWork workshop and we will invite seafarers to symbolically raise the UNHCR flag among the rails that will fly during the regatta.

Kleronia Sail Boat

Carlotta Sami, UNHCR spokeswoman for Southern Europe, who will be on board with us commented on our collaboration: “UNHCR, United Nations Refugee Agency, is excited to participate as a partner in this initiative, convinced that the Mediterranean Sea must return to be a basin of coexistence and not a symbol of tragedies and closures “.

Numerous associations, foundations, companies, friends and supporters have joined the initiative, each with its own particular contribution and interpreted the message based on its mission or personal and human point of view. Whether donating scholarships, disseminating the call for participants, or sharing their educational programs.

Some participants of the B&W project – Black & White, the migrants’ trend, curated by Caterina Pecchioli and organized by Nation25, will take part in the workshop. UNESCO Youth Association as well as System Professional, a hair brand of the Coty Italia joined the initiative, contributing respectively through their network and the donation of scholarships.

The call for participation for AtWork Venice workshop is extended until August 20th.
Participate, spread and get ready to wave your flag, your South!