COSTAS VAROTSOS
Glass,steel and stone.

Otranto, the easternmost city of Italy and a symbol of the Mediterranean, has a new work of modern art called ‘The Landing Work for Migrant Humanity’. The artwork was unveiled on Sunday, January 29, at the port of the city. The work itself is the Kater I Rades, the Albanian boat that collided with a ship of the Italian navy in 1997 in the Strait of Otranto with 120 people on board.

Only 34 people survived the accident; there were many casualties, most of them women and children, and many bodies were never found. That vessel, symbolising all landings in Italy, has been turned into a special work of art by the famous Greek sculptor Costas Varotsos. It stands as a symbol of acceptance and solidarity between people. This incredible reconstruction and creation has been made possible by the tenacity of a humanitarian organisation, Integra, as well as the parents of the victims, the Municipality of Otranto, the Council Office for Youth Policies and the Mediterranean Cultural Institute of the Province of Lecce. The Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean has given strong support to the project, organising an international workshop together with the Artemisia organisation, with eight young artists coming in from various European countries. They have organised a real journey of ‘research’ and ‘discovery’ into the artwork.

The Permanent Conference of the Mediterranean Audiovisual Operators (COPEAM) has supported the initiative as media-partner, giving publicity to the project and working together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and the Italian Council for Refugees (CIR). Today this project aims to be a starting point for the creation of an international atelier where creativity and migration come together through a programme of art, workshops, seminars and debates, meant to generate a widespread network of relations and activities (ANSAmed).

 

Costas Varotsos
The moon of Alexandria, 1995

Costas Varotsos
Untitled, 2004

 

Costas Varotsos

Spirale, 1998

Galerie du Carlton