AtWork Lab Venice


AtWork Lab Venice

Venice, Italy
26 October - 20 November 2015


Nation25, AMM, OSF


"Nomadism of Imagination and Nomadism of Fear"


Emilio Fantin

Venice AtWork Lab workshop took place from October 26 to 28, at S.a.L.E. Docks, a former salt-storage facility in Venice, as part of The Nationless Pavilion LABORATORY. The Nationless Pavilion LABORATORY is a ten-day project curated by Nation25 in Lecce and Venice. It consisted of contemporary art workshops aimed at creating a collective installation to be held on October 31, 2015, at S.a.L.E Docks (Venice), representing Nation25, with all its challenges and opportunities. A three-day workshop entitled Nomadism of Imagination and Nomadism of Fear has involved artists and professionals dealing with migration and post-colonial issues including people with direct migration experience. We saw the participation of asylum seekers and refugees coming from SPRAR-Gus in Castrì (Lecce), Coop Camelot in Ferrara, Civico Zero in Rome, Progetto Fontego-SPRAR in Venice. AtWork Lab is the result of a shared vision and partnership between Nation25 curators Sara Alberani, Elena Abbiatici, Caterina Pecchioli and AMM-Archive of Migrant Memories, in collaboration with Moleskine Foundation and Open Society Foundation.

“Around the world, more than 51.5 million individuals have either fled their country or are displaced from their homes due to war and violence. If you considered them as a state, they would represent the 25th nation on Earth.”


The workshop

Nation25 represents an imaginary but necessary attempt to consider refugees from a geographic and human rights perspective. By regarding them as the 25th nation on Earth, we can question the concept of “nation-state”, highlighting its striking contradictions.
The workshop was led by Emilio Fantin, an Italian artist focusing on communication, time, art-nature relationship, and dream as a non-geographic area favoring mutual exchange and interaction. Venice AtWork Lab considered nomadism from two perspectives: nomadism of thoughts (imagination) and nomadism of bodies (migration), focusing on the dialogue between internal and external imageries in a new, often incomprehensible or hostile environment where it is difficult to orientate. It involved a transition from reality to dream, culminating in the final reflection of our imagery to the outside world.



“In this sharing process, the words became a vehicle for recovering an inner, immaterial image from a fleeting vision and keeping it alive; an image to be used as a guide, without necessarily translating it into a tangible visual representation.”

Melania Fusco, Venice AtWork Lab participant.

The leader: Emilio Fantin

Atwork_leader_emiliofantinEmilio Fantin is an Italian artist whose main themes are communication, time, the connection between art and nature, and dream as non-geographical area where convergence and exchange dynamics can happen. Fantin uses workshops as research methods. He has exhibited in several national and international contexts, such as PS1, Cittadellarte (Biella), XLIX Biennale d’Arte di Venezia, Documenta13 (Kassel).

The experience

Emilio Fantin guided participants to discover their inner visual dimension, the dimension of the dream, beyond the differences of languages, backgrounds, personal stories and geographies. The experience started with the presentation of each participant to the group through a representative object, text, image, song or video. After this moment of storytelling the workshop went from the outside to the inside reality, sharing memories and images from dreams and, through them, finding a common internal image: a phrase that stimulates vision beyond the eyes, directly into the mind. As a result of this process the participants created a collective notebook that became part of Moleskine Foundation’s artist notebooks collection. Some of the participants also chose to create their individual notebooks on top of the collective one.

“Dreaming extends horizon of possible and common”

From the ‘Internal image’ collectively created by the participants

Participants list

  • Monir Ahmed

  • Alaa Al Kasem

  • Beky

  • Coop Camelot

  • Yvette Miafo Teguela

  • Ziai Hamidullah

  • Guendalina Mantovani

  • Silvia Danetti

  • Olivier Dipama

  • Melania Fusco

  • John Gian

  • Federica Glauso

  • Giacomo Gerboni

  • Sharafat Hamkar Sayed

  • Morteza Khaleghi

  • Mohamed Keita

  • Love

  • Andrea Lulli

  • Andrea Moreno

  • Emerson Penaherrera

  • Irene Pozzi

  • Andrea Righetto

  • Rzgar

  • Federica Salvego

  • Federico Simonti

  • Rahel Slaemani

  • Victor

  • Andrea Villa


  • Main Partners
    Archivio Memorie Migranti
    Open Society Foundation
    Free Home University
    Musagetes Foundation
    S.a.L.E. Docks

    In collaboration with
    SPRAR – Castrì (LE) and Progetto Fontego, SPRAR – Venice

    Photos by
    Mohamed Keita

  • Partners
    Civico Zero
    Sale Docks
    Ammirato Culture House
    Comitato giustizia per i nuovi Desaparacidos nel Mediterraneo
    Habeshia Agency per la cooperazione allo sviluppo (A.H.C.S)
    MAAM Museo dell’altro e dell’altrove

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