City of Dwellers
City of Dwellers is sited in Milan, Italy. This film tells individual stories of people from Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Senegal, who are “fitting in” or adapting to new life in Europe who have no status whatsoever and are working illegally, have obtained status and are working or holding their own business. It is a relational work, where the form of the work is a selection of conversations and exchanges I have made with the participants. My role as an artist was empirical, investigative and imploring.
I allowed the participants to narrate the story, taking a non-dogmatic stance, letting the process define the outcomes. Migration for a better standard of living, the false assumptions African people have about life in Europe and how Africa tries to live to and adapt to the standard and lifestyle of Europe and America are all important issues that come up in the film.
The work seeks to challenge and probe at the boundaries, tackling human experience in its gestalt complexity. Bringing the work into the public domain allows a space for understanding, discussion and re-thinking of the urgent issue of contemporary migration.