Gaddafi in Rome
single channel video, ongoing
Gaddafi in Rome is a long form essay film that dissects a political event that caused a media frenzy in Italy and led to the use of real-time reporting on an unprecedented scale by a popular newspaper, La Repubblica: the 2009 meeting between Silvio Berlusconi and Muammar Gaddafi in Rome. After a century of stormy dealings, the two premiers signed the Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between Italy and Libya a year earlier. Such a turning point in the relations between Italy and Libya was fuelled by Italy’s need to secure fuel supply and stop the arrival of migrants on its southern shores. In exchange, Italy had to bend to Gaddafi’s request for colonial reparations, in the form of financial investments and infrastructural work. While in Rome, the two premiers ratified the bilateral agreements on migration, which cemented the ‘pushback policy’, the forced return of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Libya, where they are incarcerated in detention centres that violate human rights. Through a self-reflexive and embodied approach, Gaddafi in Rome enacts a symbolic 'public dissection' of this neocolonial spectacle, focusing on its media representation, power structures, and on their performative aspects. Travelling across different temporalities, it plays with the relation between the 'topical' and the 'systemic' in order to reflect on colonial continuities, the abuses of history and contemporary neo-imperialist politics within the Euro-Mediterranean.
Developed with support from the BFI London Film Festival Experimenta Pitch Award 2017, in association with FLAMIN (Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network) with support from Arts Council England.