“I am what time, circumstance, history
have made of me, certainly, but I am also so much more than that.
So are we all.”
James Baldwin (1924-1987)
Torino Social Impact Art Award. Art and social innovation
The Torino Social Impact Art Award is the result of the desire to create a dialogue between art and social innovation, with the aim of initiating actions that can have an impact on the present, in the contemporary society. Starting with the conviction that art is capable of providing tools and physical spaces in which to question urgent social issues, the project fosters experimentation in the field of the arts as a catalyst for the development of new responses or structured solutions. A potential ally and driver of social innovation, art can offer unexpected visions, in fact, capable of breaking down social definitions of dominant gender or religions, also granting a voice to those who run the risk of exclusion from contemporary systems of production.
The “Torino Social Impact Art Award” is supported by Torino Social Impact 1 , created and coordinated by Artissima, in order to offer two young artists residing in Italy the opportunity to take part in a residency in Torino for the creation of a new work. The award is aimed at young people with training in the world of contemporary art, of a multicultural and migratory background. The objective is to offer a possibility of access to an art career for young people hailing from other contexts, to hypothesize forms of social insertion in the world of Italian culture. The facilitation of professional insertion in the art world of people with a multicultural and migratory background opens up diversification of the Italian social fabric and transforms the perception of otherness, providing a type of narrative “agency”. The creation of unexpected scenarios, new languages and communications, can foster the spread of messages able to positively transform the perception of what may often seem distant, extraneous or diverse.
The project covers a one-month art residency for two emerging talents whose vision and background enable them to narrate the contemporary society of Torino in a transverse way, as emblematic of a country in a phase of transformation. Selected through a call issued to the main Academies of Fine Arts and Universities in Italy, they will have the possibility of living in and discovering the city of Torino, investigating it through a video work that will later be shown in institutional contexts and at Artissima.
The call in 2020, titled HOW MANY ITALIES?, is the result of observation of the context and stimuli of the city of Torino, to open up personal, creative viewpoints generated by multifaceted and therefore less conventional cultural attributes in both social and artistic terms. The first edition of the “Torino Social Impact Art Award” concentrates on video, and invites the selected artists to use this medium of expression, offering a contribution to the transformation of social perception of particularly urgent themes or life stories considered “distant”.2 The artists can rely on a tutoring service: Artissima and Torino Social Impact will accompany them in the discovery of the city and its most significant cultural and social phenomena. The young talents will be guided through the production of the work and will be able to interact with the curators of the project and the network of Torino Social Impact active in the territory, exploring the world of entrepreneurial initiative and social innovation. The videos produced by the selected artists during the residency, thanks to initiatives of support and tutoring, will be presented at Artissima 2020, disrupting the usual mechanisms of the art market through which artists are only seen at the fair if they are represented by a selected contemporary art gallery.
In September, during the residency, the artists will stay at Combo 3, the hospitality partner of the project and an innovative format that combines the idea of lodging with artistic and cultural programming open to experimentation. The daily interaction with the heterogeneous community that inhabits and frequents the spaces of Combo, as well as the synergic proximity to Porta Palazzo – the largest market in Europe – will permit the artists in residence to constantly absorb new stimuli and inspirations.
Caterina Erica Shanta with the project: Talking about visibility, for the following reasons: “for the social impact of her proposal, based on horizontal dialogue and exchange of viewpoints. For the desire to question and focus on the imaginary of cinema of each of us, with the aim of giving rise to a project of collective cinema, involving several multi-ethnic communities of Torino and producing a work capable of conveying stories and narratives that shift from the personal to the social dimension.”
Born to an Italian mother and an American father, Caterina has lived in various countries and been in contact with a range of different communities. Like other works recently made by the artist, Talking about visibility is a place of construction of identity, otherness and memory that places the accent on the act of recognition of self in a given imaginary, and on the visibility of that imaginary inside a common narrative.
Liryc Dela Cruz, a filmmaker from the Philippines, with the project Il Mio Filippino: Invisible Bodies, Neglected Movements, for the following reasons: “for the force of social investigation proposed, focusing on the documentation of the collective movement of migration, its perception, the forgotten labour force and social rejection. For the intention to put a silent, subterranean world at the centre of the research, inhabited by people who remain unobserved or overlooked, but who play a fundamental role in our society.”
As in other works thematically linked to his roots and history, the Filipino community of Torino will be the protagonist of the research. The artist, concentrating on the everyday life of domestic workers, sets out to produce a video with choreographic elements.