This work consists of 14 handmade suitcases. Every suitcase has been constructed using a wooden frame and some meal and leather details.
Each suitcase would also carry a paper tag similar to those used at the airports, indicating the countries and cities from which each one originates. The destination country and city for each one is always the same Greek and Athens.
The theme I am trying explore with this work is that of being the “absolute other” “the foreigner”, “the immigrant”. In a world obsessed with globalization and its economic consolidation peoples and societies tend to redefine and cling to their identities that border to cultural, economic, political or national stereotypes. During the last years of the 20th century and onwards many people have been displaced from their actual sociopolitical habitat and become refugees in other countries for various reasons. Suddenly these people “the immigrant” with their specific cultural and political identity have become “the foreigners” “the others” that their new environment in the new hosting country cannot absorb, accept or even understand.
I have presumed that each suitcase of our work belongs to these “foreigners” and their symbolic content projects the idea of these people’s culture, education, abilities and skills, trapped in their luggage, stranded and scattered around the public space waiting to be explored, understood, and perhaps absorbed. Usually “the foreigners” are not visible by other people although conspicuous and present, they are not taken into consideration except only as a potential threat either political or economic. They do not occupy public spaces, as the native citizens of their hosting country have the right to do. They stealthily slip inside the social body but they occupy as little place as they can afford. I aimed to create this three dimensional installation in order to make visible to the viewers the potential of sharing a public space with “the foreigners” that they don’t want to see and don’t want to take into consideration.