Diary of Some Lives from the Sea of Sicily

The story of an emigration always begins from a starting point and ends with a point of arrival. And then there is everything in between. The voyage. Which is often the hardest part to live and give an account of.

The Dino Zoli Foundation will resume its activities in February with an exhibition of the sculptures of the Forlì artist Massimo Sansavini named Touroperator, executed using hulls recovered by the artist from the Lampedusa boat graveyard.

In September 2015, for the first time, the Court of Agrigento gave permission for an artist to take planking from boats that had carried migrants, had been confiscated and were kept at the former Loran US base at Lampedusa, in order to make art works from them.

Each piece has become the tale of a wreck: the title is the date it happened, the material is the wood of the craft that the migrants voyaged on.


Touroperator was conceived to tell the story of migrations, to become a didactic instrument for handling the matter in schools, to weave relationships with second generation migrants and to be a travelling exhibition. These are the venues at which the exhibition has already been accepted: the San Domenico Museum at Forlì from 22 September to 3 October 2016 and the European Parliament in Brussels from 14 to 19 November 2016.

Visitors to the exhibition will be greeted by a floor graphic representing the coasts of Africa and Italy and the sea that separates them; a visual preamble that immediately plunges the visitor into the theme handled and into current events.
The exhibition itinerary, along which about twenty of Sansavini’s largest works are to be set up, will be further enriched by videos and information panels that give the visitor a better grasp of the complex world of migration.

The Bologna exhibition

The works in the Touroperator project will be shown at the seat of the Emilia-Romagna Region Legislative Assembly so that it can be seen not only by the public but by local authority officials. The Massimo Sansavini works selected for the Bologna venue are of small to medium size and will be accompanied by a set of photographs and information panels.

The inauguration of the exhibition on 28 February will be preceded by a conference for schools given by Francesco Niccolò Moro of the Bologna University Faculty of Political, Social and International Sciences.