Multiple Mirroring


Interviews with refugees are a basis for various art works and actions, and for a co-creation between refugees and local cultural professionals and artists in all four cities involved with the Specially Unknown project. The partner in Turin, Rete Italiana de Cultura Popolare (Italian network for the folk culture), was most moved by the power of the stories of refugees to provide a mirror for people of Turin.


In their poetical artistic plan they wrote: “The stories we have collected through the Specially Unknown interviews tell about memories, interrupted or realized dreams, everyday’s family life. Everybody can recognize themselves there. People can discover their feelings, doubts, dilemma’s in the mirror that refugees’ stories are offering”


Rete Italiana believes that the “emotional force of artistic languages can change social imaginaries and unleash social relationships between people” . It wants to involve audiences and storytellers to build a collective and participative narrative which maintains a plurality of different looks, voices and stories”.


That’s why their artistic plan envisages three different artistic actions, which employ different artistic languages and forms, involve different people and different places in the city, but are connected through (by?) the topic of mirroring.

These three artistic works are the exhibition The Family album, the narrative performance Who Are You That I Am, and the video installation The Mirror.


The Mirror is a video installation which projects selected interviews. The protagonists of the screened stories will talk, comment and interact with the public. The refugee will be holding a mirror to the audiences, but the audiences will also be holding a mirror to a refugee.

A theatrical narrative performance Who Are You That I Am is linked to The Mirror because it connects all the stories from the interviews into a great collective narrative. This participatory narrative will use different African and European idioms, words, body talk and sounds.


The Family album is a touring exhibition of family pictures and diaries. When we move from one country to another, we take photos of our loved ones, of the house, of the life that tied us to things. These photos, mostly existing only on the mobile phones, connect our former selves with what we have become in the new home, and with the inhabitants who have welcomed us.


Rete Italiana started to work with Teatro delle Forme, a national theatre company with a long experience in performances based on communities histories, and with Associazione Generazione Ponte (Bridge generation Association), an association formed by second generation young refugees .

The plan is to present these works in March and April 2019 to the audiences in the various cultural institutions in Turin: Polo of the ‘900, Tullio De Mauro Fund and Archive, Po Istoreto, City Archive of Turin. The Mirror they would love to install in the Egyptian Museum, Circle of Readers and some high schools in Turin. We expect publish the first “making of’ footage of this Mirror Trilogy, end of February 2019, in the next newsletter and on the Specially Unknown website.


Links to the different articles of the 1st newsletter: