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Adventure, roots, consciousness: a sense of belonging behind Homeland

An interview with the two creatives who curated the exhibition organized by nss magazine

Adventure, roots, consciousness: a sense of belonging behind Homeland An interview with the two creatives who curated the exhibition organized by nss magazine

The world is full of art exhibitions, perhaps less so of perspectives. Homeland springs from the need to explore the concept of belonging, seen through the personal perspective of Italian-Egyptian artist Mosa One, the photography of Marco Russo and the staging of Aya Mohamed, aka Milanpyramid. The idea of home, the concept of roots, the constant of mobility: Homeland combines these narrative strands to tell a story set in Egypt about alienation, openness, awareness, nostalgia and closure. «There was a very strong artistic connection between the two of us, partly because we are not strangers. We have collaborated before, but this time we wanted to do something more meaningful. Since we are two dreamers, it was complicated to find a balance between our ideas and their concrete», the two creatives told us.

Behind the concept of belonging is indeed a reservoir of meanings that can hardly get lost in its thousands of implications. For photographer Marco Russo, belonging means «hovering between individualism and community. I could spend hours, if not whole days, talking about home, roots and belonging. My goal is to document where I come from, where others come from, what we belong to». For Moses, «a home can be a person, a simple memory, a physical or mental place where you are at peace with yourself. A sense of belonging should be something in which you recognise yourself, in which you can express yourself without being enclosed by the boundaries we often tend to draw between ourselves and others». Homeless is based on a story articulated in 3 acts, «an evolutionary process where beginning and end coincide. Our existence, on the other hand, is not characterised by a linear progression, but takes the form of a spiral with concentric circles», Marco explains. «In three words: adventure, roots, consciousness», Mosa added. Having lived in Italy for most of his life, the Italian-Egyptian artist was catapulted into the landscapes he had only brief glimpses of as a child. «Returning home is almost always frustrating at first, you have to take time to reacquaint yourself with the space around you. It feels like starting a book over in the same place you left off. But every time you come back, you have changed and he's changed», the two creatives explained to us.

A moment of detachment, but actually of belonging for the protagonist of the trip to Egypt, which «allowed us to (re)connect with a country that proved to be incredibly hospitable». All these components form the framework in which the protagonist becomes and feels an integral part of the Egyptian social fabric. Mosa is no longer a spectator, but it is the city that is now narrated through his eyes. And we come to the end, the end of this journey where one becomes fully aware of one's identity. The initial feeling of detachment turns into nostalgia and sadness at the impending abandonment. «It's always hard to say goodbye to family when you leave, because you know that in the next few months or years, until you come back, the relationship will not be the same. It will remain in limbo», Mosa and Marco told us. With this exhibition we want to spread the «awareness that we are all ever-changing and ever-growing beings: We live mainly on the outside, but we want to make people focus on themselves to nurture their uniqueness. Maintaining curiosity and creativity is crucial because it allows us not to be limited by the definitions imposed by the society we live in».