Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani
Freedom of Movement
2018, 30:00 min
Day 1, Screening 5
15 Dec 2018, 20:00

Evoking the Olympic marathon from Rome 1960, in which the Ethiopian Abebe Bikila conquered the African continentʼs first gold medal, running barefoot and becoming a sporting legend and a symbol of the Africa that was freeing itself of colonialism, Fischer & el Sani have recontextualised amidst Romeʼs controversial rationalist architecture, a new race involving refugees and immigrants staking a claim to their “freedom of movement”. The work consists of 3 simultanous projections. On the first screen, an African runner inscribes once again episodes and architectural scenarios of the historical marathon into the streets of Rome. On the second, a choir of African refugee teenagers moves across the spaces of the Colosseo Quadrato at EUR and step on its roof to perform a song about their own identity and that of the country now hosting them. On the third screen, sequences of a contemporary night run are superimposed with footage of the 1960ʼs marathon and intertwined with archive material of the construction of facist monumental projects like the colonial model city EUR and Mussoliniʻs sports complex Foro Italico in Rome. The narrative aims at linking the stories of the 1960ʼs marathon, the current migration crisis and the silent language of Romeʼs controversial modernist architecture. Fischer & el Sani are examining the complexity of ideological, political and architectural implications of Bikilaʻs 1960ʻs Olympic gold medal run to this day.

Image credit: Copyright VG Bild-Kunst Bonn and the artists, 2018