The project was created to give students the chance to come to terms with the very topical themes dealt with in the works on display, among which the prison as a visible physical space and as an invisible virtual space, as well as the satellite and digital control of communications. ‘Oltre il muro’ (‘Beyond the Wall’) is therefore a creative and original reflection on the part of the students as concerns physical and virtual prisons, and the control exerted on our lives by the Internet and social media. The project gave rise to en eponymous short movie and was part of the research work that the students presented at their Graduation Exam.
Workshop at MAXXI
Several artworks were analysed, among which the video Temps Mort (2009) by the Algerian artist Mohamed Bourouissa, chosen both for the medium itself and for the issues dealt with. The work is a dialogue that gradually becomes more intimate consisting of a video and text messages that the artist and a prisoner exchanged secretly. Temps Mort thus becomes an ‘other’ space for relationships and exchanges between the inside and the outside, an area of freedom. Bourouissa took part in the project by describing to the students – who showed great interest – in a Skype call, each phase of the creation of the work and the relationship with the prisoner. The direct involvement of the artist allowed the students to deepen some of the exhibition themes and to learn about all of the phases that lead to the creation of an artwork, using the medium of video, providing some pre-knowledge relevant to the realization of a short movie.
Workshop at School
Under the guidance of a professional film-maker who trained the students by revealing some of the tricks of the trade, a short movie was created that was named after the learning project itself, filmed in the familiar environment of the school. Starting from a given subject, the students curated every step: the scene and the storyboard in the participated writing workshops, as well as the directing, interpretation, and the photographic and video documentation about what was going on backstage.
Study Day and Short Movie
The short movie Oltre il muro was presented at MAXXI on the occasion of the Study Day focused on juvenile delinquency realized in collaboration with the Centro per la Centre for Juvenile Justice for Lazio, Abruzzo and Molise, and devoted to secondary school students and teachers together with professionals in that area. In front of an audience that was moved to tears, in the short film the students described the daydreams of a young patience in a specialized centre undergoing rehabilitation for his Internet addiction. In his dreams he imagined himself as someone who could bring about change for other youngsters who were potential addicts themselves. As the days went by, the time spent with their smartphones made way for human interaction between the students, and bullying for gesture of compassion and friendship. A sort of group nightmare exorcised through art.