The title of this project, “7800”, suggests an imagined altitude but also a year of the future.
The project, designed for Manifesta 12, celebrates the Voodoo, the oldest religion in the world, and involves 7800 Africans participating in a large collective ritual in the woods of Trentino. This ritual will take place every day at dusk for an indefinite time. The location of the ritual, however, remains unknown: we only know that it will take place somewhere in the sacred spaces of the woods of Trentino (20th – 28 th July 2018).
The ritual entails a collective prayer in the hope that something significant will happen: a sign, or a series of coincidences, that can tell us something about the present and the future of Europe. What will happen will be documented on this same page.
Every day the 7800 people involved in the project perform a Voodoo ritual that has been integrated and contaminated with foreign elements, including the use of dried sage, the oil of Hypericum, elements of the Shinto religion, and a Christian prayer that the artist, creator of the project, learned as a child.
Can the large migratory flows affecting Europe become a wealth? Can they help us rediscover the primordial relationship with our soul and with our earth?
In the Mediterranean region there is a “demographic transition” that in just one century will cause the inhabitants of Africa to grow by 530%, going from 43.5 million to 274 million.
Moreover, climate changes have rendered some areas of Africa uninhabitable (the UN expects about fifty million climate refugees only from Africa by 2050); strong political instabilities have resulted in civil wars and genocides in Sudan, Eritrea, Central Africa, Congo, Libya, Chad; the silencing of Italy’s involvement in the selling of heavy and light weapons to African countries has contributed to these wars and forced millions of refugees out of their homelands (only in 2016 Italy has exported weapons worth 14 billion euros); finally, 30 million people are suffering from starvation in Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, northern Kenya, and around Lake Chad.
All these reasons tell us that we need long-term policies that can connect and integrate people and solve what can reasonably be defined as another Holocaust.
“7800” is a contemporary fresco, a premonition, and a mirage for the visitors of the woods of Trento. It is a prayer that begins to identify a trace, a concomitance of events or a sign, about the present and future of Europe in relation to this new contemporary exodus.
UPDATING > July 21st 2018