From anonymous, objectified images to subjects mirroring multiple identities: performing The Foreigner(s)

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The Foreigner – Unknown Unlabelled Unexpected (2016, 2018) is a durational and participatory live performance that I designed and performed as a personal response to the migration question involving Europe, Africa, and the Middle East in the past decades. The objects analysed in this essay are the images of those dead migrants’ bodies covered by white cloths on the Italian and Greek shores. I am Italian and I have been on some of those shores.
We mainly experience these bodies as images on screens via the media. These bodies have no identity, they are “the foreigners”. We, the viewers, can forget about them by switching our screens off: due to way they are presented by the media, “the foreigners” cease to be subjects and become simple objects, images. What would happen if I removed the cold and reassuring mediation of the screens and recreate that image in flesh, in public spaces crossed by people in their everyday lives? How would people react to that objectified image
- now a breathing body, and thus, a subject?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-60
Number of pages18
JournalMobile Culture Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • performance art
  • Migration
  • objectification
  • Embodiment
  • embodiment and public spheres
  • Mediterranean

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