The theme of this project is “fear of belonging” in how I and others feel displaced and mismatched from our native country.
I have analysed my own experience, this experience centres on the idea now that I don’t belong to Italy, but am continually searching for my “true home”. I feel I am trapped in “no man’s land” my ideal country perhaps is “always the next country”.
Subconsciously a sense of incompletion has been significant in my everyday life, because it has created a distance from my culture.
This “fear of belonging” has traumatised me as I did not want to lose my independence or negotiate my exclusivity/individuality or my pride.
The sentence I wrote “Se lui è il benvenuto, io sono quello che non ti ha mai voluto” basically it means “If he is welcomed, I am the one who never wanted you” this is the voice of the general Italian public we feel let down by the system and not be heard and feel foreigners are given more priority.
Public opinion in Italy believes that new comers foreigners, are taking over jobs and freely given houses and benefits. I do not take part in this general public opinion which publicly, doesn’t accept foreigners.
This backlash is creating hate, ignorance, racism and feeding my “fear of belonging”. I left behind what I thought was a difficult situation, but now I find in UK that I am the newcomer.
In my installation a doormat is an object which enhances the idea of being made welcomed it represents home and embraces all who enter.
The purpose of slicing the mat was to empathise the idea of being unwelcomed revealing the gaps in society.
Whilst cutting up the word “welcome” the mat revealed to me the word “owe”, in this sense I feel that I must pay or repay something back to my country in order to feel welcomed.
On reassembling the mat the word “CLEM” appeared a word that indicates two different meanings (1) a dumb, slower worker and (2) starvation and struggle, I felt it indicates the general social and economical climate in Italy in regards to the people who live there and who come there.
I am affected by the above sentence in that I had to adjust and slow down my everyday life once I moved to the UK I am the “CLEM”.
The reconstructed Clem mat was reduced in size this is a metaphor of the narrow chances to succeed in life in a new reality or the new home.
Wrapping and tying the word “welcome” inside the other mat I am hiding what is hidden inside, I wanted to indicate the exclusivity that Italians have (they are the Insiders) and other people are just Outsiders.
The reverse side of the mat I have written “Se lui é il benvenuto, io sono quello che non ti ha mai voluto” represents a implicit text on what the publics real thoughts are towards welcoming strangers into Italy.
The function of the black envelops was to give a hidden message, the message is the same as above.
My use of ties indicates the political bureaucracy in Italy and how they hang on to the politician’s every word.
I wrote backwords in Italian to mark the idea of losing control of my own language and my writing, as if I was essentially taking a distance from my own country in an approach to a new reality.
The mirror is the key element of my composition because it is building an illusory space representing the alternative, the “ideal country”, in which we can reflect ourself in a new identity. In a playful way I wanted the mirror to reveal the real message.
The reflection in the mirror places us in the position of “being behind the eight ball” a clear reference to express the disadvantaged position, one can find ourselves in.