• 2019/ White as silence

    (70 kilometers of coast from Marina di Acate to Pozzallo) video installation / digital video loop / Audio source presents a list of different ways to express white color nuances performed by the Sicilian actor Antonio Stella. In Sicily, on the coast, from Pozzallo to Marina di Acate, and inland in the district of Vittoria, in the province of Ragusa, there are 70 km of glasshouses where tomatoes are grown. In this "endless grey snake", mostly foreign farm workers have been working for 30 years. During this time, there have been various migrant workers: from the Maghreb countries in the 80's to the 90's, and from Eastern European countries at the beginning of 2000. Recently, migrants have been coming from sub-Saharan Africa: official figures speak of 20,000 workers, 60% of whom are foreigners, unofficial sources say up to 26,000, 90% of whom have a foreign background. Most of them without a residence permit, which they cannot get because they do not have an employment contract. (see law n. 189 30 July 2002, law Bossi-Fini) Here we speak not only about illegal work but also about slavery. The working conditions and the accommodation facilities are below any acceptable level : 3 euros per hour, 16 hours per day, in temperatures that can reach 50 degrees in the glasshouse. The location of the accommodation structures does not allow any other work and no possibility of integration. On top of that, there is the tragedy for the women among them: they are also sexually exploited. This modern slavery, also corresponds to a traditional theme, the difficult relationship between women and agriculture. But that is not all. The deeper you go into the matter, the more problems come to light. Environmentally harmful methods are being used, such as plastic from glass houses. Together with tons of harvested tomatoes, and other gauze, including asbestos, everything in the fields is burnt, but in Sicilian supermarkets you can find tomatoes from Cameroon.