GIACOMO SINI, SHORTLISTED 3RD BIENNIAL’S GRANT
Description of the Completed Project
In Bushehr port, one of the richest cities of Iran in terms of fossil fuels and natural resources, a community with African origins lives. However, the recent history of slavery, from where they come from. is unknown to most of the citizens, even the Afro-Iranians themselves. In the prosperous times of nineteenth century thousands of African slaves were transported to the important ports of Persian Gulf. Numerous African communities all across the Gulf’s coasts have come into existent from the offspring of the slaves whom merchants settled in the date and pearl production, in response to the global demand for these two precious commodities. However, the discovery of oil and gas and declination of traditional industries radically changed the life of many. Masters became poor along their former slaves area and disconnected people from their history. The collection, tries to capture the unique influence of African cultural heritage on the region, focusing its attention to locals’ somatic features and then passing into the unique folklore's experience of a band of Afro Iranian youngers, great sample of Bushehr’s Afro heritage. The band has been supervising by an Iranian man who decided to recover the Afro-Iranian musical tradition of the area, making it live again. In first stance I’d love to use the grant for organize two exhibition: One in the city of Bushehr itself and another one where I live, in order to show how rich is the cultural heritage of Iran and let people know an hidden story of an unique community. Secondly, at the opening of the exhibition in Italy, I’d love to organize a simple concert of the “Bambassi Band” pictured in the project. “My great grandfather was a well-known merchant. He would often go to Zanzibar to bring slaves. His crew would ambush children. Well, they couldn’t afford to capture adults… Eventually, locals identified them and one day, they chopped their bodies into pieces.”
This is what Ali, a 53-year-old citizen of Bushehr – Iran, said in one of our first meeting.