Our Journey, 2017

Animation, English subtitles

duration 12 mins


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Image copyright Lanu Varvaro

Lanu Varvaro

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  • About the work

    A conversation between me and and my mum, about the subject and meaning of home.

    My mother who left Palermo, during the hardest years of mafia struggle, a war of power between diverse mafia families, during which also various institutional figures who were adverse to the mafia were killed, came to London in the 80s. She has experienced the direct affect of being displaced. I was intrigued to ask her how she felt living in a new place with a different culture and language, and what for her meant the word home. Talking to her I also expressed my feeling of displacement, having both parents coming from countries other than England. Challenged to exist between London and Palermo, I have often questioned what the meaning of home is and if it can cover more than one place or if it is just a feeling.


    In the video we are driving down the motorway from Agrigento back to Palermo. In fact the imagery of the sun spot, turning into sunset with the mountains behind while the car is moving seemed the ideal backdrop to use whilst my mum spoke in the video I was going to create. The car heads on a journey, yet it is also coming to a home. The scene of the lit up chair with no person sitting represents my mum. I did not think it was necessary to literally have my mum there, the chair acted more as a metaphor for a strong presence in my life. Ialso wanted to include some movement in some of the scenes of the chair and had the idea to have some slow and fast animations of the books, the books representing my mothers’ great love of culture. I wanted the books to disappear one by one from the chair as if the books were individual dancers, with human like qualities.

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