SLUM is an installation conceived by Marco Piantoni and inspired by his documentary film “L’asino che vola (The Flying Donkey)” produced by the Italian Human Rights Federation, which deals with the problem of slavery in Mauritania through the story of the political/anti-slavery leader Biram Dah Abeid and his peaceful movement IRA Mauritania.
The film tells how Biram has been fighting for years to eliminate the scourge of slavery in his country with the desire to free people still subjected to an inhuman practice that forces children, women and men to work without freedom, compensation, or instruction. In Mauritania in 1981 the abolition of slavery was achieved, but only in a formal way. In fact, the government did not give the economic, social and political means to allow slaves real emancipation. For this reason, in addition to the despicable practices directly related to slavery, many people live in cruel social and economic conditions, not worthy of even the slightest meaning of freedom.
In Mauritania, during the production of the film, one of the elements that struck Marco Piantoni the most were the shacks in which these people lived. Dilapidated houses without electricity or drinking water, with hygienic and living conditions well below decency. Despite this, many people lived inside, especially children, full of vitality, dreams and hopes. From this contrast arises the concept of the installation SLUM at Museo Spazio Pubblico, and the desire to transpose/reproduce in the West (in Bologna) one of the shacks visited in Mauritania with the aim of highlighting the presence of vital energy and imagination in a reality in which it is difficult to feel free to act in accordance with one’s wishes.
At the opening on 22 October 2022, the film-maker Marco Piantoni presented the installation SLUM and his documentary film with Antonio Stango, President of the Italian Human Rights Federation, and Eleonora Mongelli, Vice President of the Italian Human Rights Federation, with the online participation of Vincent Kitio, Chief of Energy Unit at UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.
Watch the recording of the event (in Italian) on Youtube.
The documentary film “L’asino che vola (The Flying Donkey)” received a special mention at the Urban Visions Film Festival promoted by City Space Architecture and part of the European project A-Place, co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union. Watch the trailer.