Bird in Flight Prize ‘20 Finalist: Encounter
Silvia Rosi, Italy
Silvia’s “Encounter” is a fictional representation of her family album, exploring tales of migration and diaspora through self-portraiture, performance and symbolism. Inspired by an image from her own family album, of her young mother as a market trader in Lomé Togo, Silvia retraced her parents’ journey of migration from Togo to Italy. This is a story that is both deeply personal and at the same time universal.
With her mother as source and muse, Silvia performs her family narrative recreating both visual and oral histories through the combination of photography, text, and video. She references the aesthetics of West African studio portraits through the use of backdrops and props. The act of head carrying, a skill traditionally passed on from mother to daughter, is central to the work, learned and performed by Silvia in an attempt to regain a tradition that has been lost through migration and her position as a European.
Artist's voice narrating the scene: A woman walks on the road that leads to my grandmother’s house in Sanguera. She’s holding a bag around her harm and she’s wearing a simple dress. All of a sudden she stops walking. She takes off her bag, places it on top of her head and she carries on walking.
The project was originally commissioned through the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2020.