Presentation of the research ‘HABITAT 23°S’ by Irene Coppola with Vito Priolo at spaziomateria

This event is part of
Between Land and Sea
BLAS Festival
6 July 2024, 19:00
spaziomateria (via G. Pacini 113 — Palermo)

Palermitan artist Irene Coppola and architect Vito Priolo relate their journey to the Atacama Desert. Through a series of visual and audio documents, drawings, sculptures and local materials with strong symbolic value they describe a fragile ecosystem that is being radically changed by mass tourism and mining extractivism. They reflect on the contradictions of current politics regarding the distribution of resources in the desert region, where the world’s largest lithium and copper mines are located. 

HABITAT 23°S is the second part of a long-term study of Coppola in collaboration with Priolo that started in 2019 through the indigenous region of Guna Yala in Panama and with the publication HABITAT 08°N edited by Viaindustriae Publishing. In the framework of the Between Land and Sea festival they provide insights into a research trip to a geostrategically relevant region. They share their encounters with members of the indigenous Lickan Antay community, small local entrepreneurs, craftspeople, citizens, protesters and curators, bringing to light contradictions and questions that are difficult to untangle. They talk about borders, fights, different interests and approaches among the many indigenous communities that populate Chile, the workers, the capitalist companies and the central government concerning to the most controversial issues both locally and globally: mining, water use and distribution, civil rights and the protection of the resource-rich desert areas.

The project is supported by the Direzione Generale per la Creatività Contemporanea of the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali within the framework of the Italian Council programme (12th edition, 2023), which aims to promote Italian contemporary art worldwide.