The Ulysses Syndrome
(Immigrant Syndrome of Chronic and Multiple Stress)
In collaboration with the Institute Cervantes this project was organized by: Contemporánea (Spain), Institute Cervantes (Belgrade) and Mikser Festival with the support of the Embassy of Spain.
My work was inspired by interviews that a group of medical anthropologists had with immigrants coming from Libya to the Italian island Lampedusa. Similar conversations, I lead with Mexican immigrants living in the US illegally and without papers, among which I live as an immigrant with papers. I explore their relationship to space, the one they are leaving, the one through which they pass, they long for, and where they are arriving, as well as their relations with others – a relationships full of tolerance and hostility. Based on these interviews and the answers they gave to me, I made some murals on big screen resistant to water, such as tarpaulins covering the trucks (in which illegal immigrants are often transported) or the ones that tents are made of, like those in the centers where refugees are stationed, thus symbolizing the journey, and a coat – protection from wind, winter and hiding.
My intention is to globalize the problem of immigration, to share resources and structure analysis and establish the essential intercultural dialogue. In this way I try to increase the visibility of the migrants experiences, regardless of their country of origin, temporary or final destination. My work represents a personal reflection on the phenomena of integration and nomadism, identity and the different stages of the journey (departure, arrival, loss, search, encounter, adaptation, loneliness, desolation …).
I finished the tarps as truck tarps with the intention of nailing them directly to the wall without any frame. To do this, I went to a company in Dallas working on this kind of textile finishing with immigrant workers and a Mexican woman sewed the edges and applied the metal washers to the canvases once they were already painted. I paid the employer who, I guess, gave a small pay to the woman.