The Food of War collective (FoW) successfully presented “Journey of Labels” as part of the opening of the 60th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia. A multifaceted artistic project developed by Colombian artists Omar Castaneda, Hernan Barros, and Andreina Fuentes Angarita, under the sponsorship of Arts Connection Foundation.

“Journey of Labels” includes two video performances exhibited at Palazzo Bembo, as part of the “Personal Structures” exhibition by the European Cultural Centre (ECC); as well as a series of public interventions and a communication campaign designed to invite reflection and generate dialogue around migration and the complex cultural tapestry that accompanies it.

Andreina Fuentes Angarita, director of Arts Connection Foundation and member of FoW, explained that it is an artistic effort that responds to the general theme of the Biennale “Foreigners Everywhere,” which “emerged as a celebration of cultural amalgamation, seeking to humanize the figure of the migrant.”

She stated that the project “aims to delve into the complexities of forced migration, transcending conventional boundaries and social stereotypes. It is an invitation for viewers to challenge the status quo, to scrutinize the very foundations of their beliefs, and to confront entrenched realities.”

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Thus, “Journey of Labels” intervened in various spaces in Venice, from intimate private settings to vibrant public spaces. The first activity called “When Water is Safer than Land”, took place on Wednesday, April 17 near Ponte di Rialto, with the participation of members of the prestigious organization Refugees Welcome Italia, who recited poetry outdoors and shared their personal migration experiences.

On Thursday, April 18, the vernissage of the exhibition “Personal Structures” took place, where two video art pieces by Food of War, “Journey of Labels” and “Rabbit Revolutionaries,” premiered as special guests of the space celebrating the 20 years of the Miami New Media Festival. The presentation will be open to the public until November 24. The occasion provided an opportunity for artists Omar Castaneda and Hernan Barros to perform “Rabbit Revolutionaries,” distributing leaflets with a QR code (see here) which allows access to the aforementioned video pieces.

Then, on the morning of Friday, April 19, FoW continued the performative activities with a guerrilla action on Rialto Bridge, displaying a giant banner featuring the “Journey of Labels” campaign image, with the phrase in “EXPAT, IMMIGRANT, REFUGEE?” to remind us that, essentially, we are all strangers in foreign lands.

Later in the afternoon, visitors to the Giardini area witnessed the visionary reinterpretation of Alain Arias Misson’s “Public Poem Series”, named by the collective “Public Poem on Migration”, with the help of young art students from Academia di Belle Arti di Venezia. They wore the collective’s iconic rabbit masks, and spelled out in large letters the words “EXPAT, IMMIGRANT, REFUGEE”.

On Saturday, April 20, the “Public Poem on Migration” invaded Piazza San Marco, with the participation of members of the NGO Refugees Welcome Italia. They showcased the aforementioned words and added the phrase “I’M A REFUGEE”, symbolizing with typographic art the ever-present yet fleeting nature of the migration crisis.

With “Journey of Labels,” Food of War and Arts Connection Foundation aim not only to raise awareness about migrants’ experiences but also to inspire significant change in how society perceives and addresses migration in contemporary times.

About Food of War

Food of War is an art collective that utilizes gastronomy as a tool to explore and address social and political issues. Since its foundation, the collective has been committed to creating artworks that challenge conventional perceptions and foster dialogue on critical issues in contemporary society.

About Arts Connection FoundationArts Connection Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting contemporary art and supporting emerging artists worldwide. Through educational programs, exhibitions, and international collaborations, the Miami-based foundation seeks to foster appreciation and understanding of art in all its forms.