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La Mina


LA MINA immagine.jpg

installation by Simone Cireddu and Barbara Pinna at MEA, Museo dell'Emigrazione di Asuni

Scientific coordination by Umberto Cocco
Production: Paesaggio Gramsci with a contribution by Fondazione di Sardegna and Unione dei Comuni del Barigadu

In 1946, after World War II, with the agreement Des hommes contre du charbon (Men in exchange of coal) between Italy and Belgium started the first great Italian migration. Many thousands Sardinians went abroad to work in the mines, between Limburg and Wallonia, Genk and Charleroi. They went away from Sulcis and from inland areas, from a belt extended from Marmilla to Barigadu, Mandrolisai, Goceano, Marghine, Logudoro, and from Planargia to Baronie. Some stayed forever in Belgium; some others, after the experience, came back to Sardinia. In a continued alternation of memory and forgetfulness, light and dark, in the video installation LA MINA ten surviving miners narrate their lives, expectations and dreams. Faces and voices of men who recall what was happening on the ground and underground, in wells, in tunnels of a diameter between 45 centimeters and one meter where they were forced to lay flat, often naked, in mud and black slime, as in the worst trenches. They didn't know it was a war, a damned job they describe with difficulty, comparing it to hell, in which they describe themselves as scratching mice, crawling snakes, pigs rolling in mud. Because "the mine is mine, it is a difficult job: you knew when you went down but not when you could be able to come back to the surface."

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