“Melilla is a Spanish autonomous city located in Morocco’s area, facing out the Mediterranean Sea. The border between Europe and Africa is secured by the Valla, a six-meter-tall border fence with modern surveillance systems.
Unfortunately, Melilla is renowned because of the thousands of refugees that try to cross the border illegally, sometimes succeeding and avoiding the Spanish police attempts to take them back to Morocco. In the city of Melilla there is a coexistence of Christians, Jews and Muslims in majority. A lot of people come from Riffian – Berber communities.
In December 2015 my first Giant dance took place, in Melilla. The Giant is a grotesque figure traditionally present in many Countries of the Mediterranean area. It was handmade during my stay in Kahinarte’s residency. When the Giant dances in the streets, people are often scared by him, but curiously this fear is mixed to the pleasure of attending an unusual situation, seeming to be an ancient ritual. A sort of innate and collective fear. When children try to touch the Giant, in that moment the fear just becomes amusement.
My Giant’s dance is nothing more than a moment of fun in the streets of Melilla and it should suggest the story of a man from the nomadic Issawa community, that jumped the border fence and symbolically came to Europe to dance and to demolish xenophobia. That fear that today torments so many Europeans, probably because they are afraid to experience the same misery and humiliation that migrants feel every day.
For this reason, the Giants actions will continue in those place/no-place along the European borders, where walls and fences have been opposed to humanitarian passageway.“
BR1, Torino, January 2016