Carlos Martiel on Mediterráneo

Pérez & Del Valle

It was an honor to participate and include some of my work at the Cuban Pavilion in the 57th Venice Biennial. The most important and relevant for me was the realization of the piece Mediterráneo (Mediterranean), which I had conceived years ago and brought to fruition in a context that was ideal for its comprehension.

Mediterráneo refers to the African emigration to Europe and to all the lives that have been lost in recent decades because of the mass immigration and dangerous conditions under which it is carried out. My main interest was to question the background of this problem. Who is responsible for the current state of misery, poverty, and violence on the African continent? How does the policy of arms sales of some European countries contribute to the mass emigration of the African population? What is the value of the lives of the more than 27,700 people who drowned in the Mediterranean Sea between 2000 and 2016? The reality is that thousands of Africans migrate to Europe annually in the most unsafe way, and, making the situation even more dramatic, only a small number reaches their destination since a large percentage of the survivors are deported to their countries of origin. What better place to create this piece than Italy? It was worth all the time I had to wait.

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