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The Reverie Project @ GAM - Galleria d'Arte Moderna
Jun 9 @ 19:00 – 21:00

This post is also available in: Ita

The Reverie Project, 2018 – video still


Martina Bacigalupo and Sharon Sliwinski: The Reverie Project


The GAM – Gallery of Modern Art, museum in Milan, hosts the first presentation of the ongoing project called The Reverie Project by Italian photographer Martina Bacigalupo together with Canadian scholar  Sharon Sliwinski.

The Reverie Project presents a series of video portraits in a multi-channel installation, which offers an intimate encounter with a migrant community in Geneva – and will continue in Paris and in other communities. Refusing to make people’s experiences transparent, the project highlights the significance of the imaginary realm and emphasizes a form of solidarity based on a shared vulnerability.

We have seen the pictures: drowned children washed up on beaches, overcrowded rubber boats engulfed by the Mediterranean sea, throngs of displaced people bearing all that is left of their worldly possessions. The global migrant crisis has opened an unprecedented political quandary that has captured the attention of politicians, policy makers, and the public. It has also opened critical questions about our image-making practices: Do political demands depend on making everything—including the violation of human dignity—visible?


The Reverie Project, 2018 – video still


The Reverie Project is founded on the idea that we each have the right to represent our experience in our own terms, and indeed, that we retain the “right to opacity,” as the Martiniquan cultural theorist Édouard Glissant proposed. Rather than picture people in states of extremis, the Reverie Project offers a temporary form of refuge by inviting participants to spend five minutes alone with a camera in a quiet space where they can give themselves over to the current of their thoughts. Afterwards, participants are invited to describe the experience. The project challenged the usual distinctions between subjects by inviting everyone involved in the community to enter the reverie space—including the staff, volunteers, and even the project creators themselves. This material provides the basis for a multi-channel video installation that offers an intimate encounter with migrants and the communities that support them.

The project provides the opportunity for a restorative withdrawal from our contemporary media environment that issues a continuous demand for the production and consumption of images. Theorists such as Jonathan Crary have offered a similar defense of sleep as an important retreat from the forces that seek to manage our attention. Our project is further inspired by the concept of resilience. According to the French neurologist, Boris Cryulnik, resilience focuses on the ways people can recover from their wounding experiences by constructing new internal images. This project aims to support this psychosocial process and emphasizes a form of solidarity based on a shared vulnerability.

The presentation is organized in collaboration with Giulia Zorzi / Micamera for the Milano Photo Week 2018

The talk will take place on June 9 at 7pm
GAM – Galleria d’Arte Moderna
via Palestro 16, 20123 Milan

free entrance
info: associazione@micamera.it


Martina Bacigalupo

Martina Bacigalupo is a member of Agence VU in Paris. After ten years in East Africa, she has recently returned to Europe. Her work focuses on human rights issues, and in particular on the plight of women. She has collaborated with numerous international organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, Save The Children, the United Nations, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Internazionale, Esquire, Sunday Times Magazine, Elle, and Jeune Afrique, among others. Her series “Gulu Real Art Studio” was widely exhibited and published as a photobook by Steidl in 2013.

Martina Bacigalupo will teach a workshop at Micamera on May 19+20




Sharon Sliwinski holds the Rogers Chair in Journalism & New Information Technology in the Faculty of Information & Media Studies at Western University and is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars and Artists. Her interdisciplinary work bridges the fields of visual culture, political theory, and the life of the mind. Sliwinski’s first, award-winning book, Human Rights In Camera (2011) examined the visual politics of human rights. Her most recent project explores the politics of the social imaginary, which is represented in Dreaming in Dark Times (2017) and The Museum of Dreams.

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