PARTENZA project | Renata Poljak
PARTENZA project
video installation, photo collages and production photographs, 2016

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The video installation entitled Partenza express the global insecurity of contemporary society and the fragility of human existence. Metaphorically, they address a story about departure, waiting and separation, dictated by migrations. In the early 20th century, it was usual yet traumatic for men to leave Croatian islands (mostly bound for the countries of South America) due to poverty and hunger. One of these tragic stories is weaved into the author’s family history. The installation is inspired by the life story of Renata’s great-grandmother who lived on the island of Brač, whose husband went to Chile looking for work in order to secure his family’s future. Like many of the island’s women, she waited for her husband who, like many of the men, never returned.

Partenza (Italian for departure, and used in many of Croatia’s island and coastal dialects) is inspired by the contemporary tragedies of migrants at sea. The author uses this phenomenon as a connecting thread and a reminder that not so long ago we were in the same boat. It links two stories – the one of Croatia from the early 20th century and today’s plight of African and Asian refugees. This installation, using migrant and refugee stories which repeat throughout history, very powerfully and suggestively points to the human condition as fragile and susceptible to political, economic and social changes.
— Mladen Lucic

— Text on Partenza by Alaina Claire Feldman