The latest commission from Art on the Underground, a 12 minute film by London-based artists Broomberg and Chanarin, was unveiled today at Kings Cross St Pancras Underground Station.
The film, The Bureaucracy of Angels, records the demolition of 100 migrant boats in Sicily in the winter of 2016. The boats arrived carrying asylum seekers from North Africa and while they entered Europe’s asylum system, the boats themselves remained on the forecourt of Porto Pozallo in Sicily before being destroyed.
The film is narrated by the hydraulic jaws of the digger used to destroy the boats. It appears in the narrow corridors of the boat yard, on the open sea and in the midst of a rescue operation off the coast of Libya, as a Cantastoria or ‘singing storyteller’ recounting a Sicilian ballad about immigration to and from the territory over the last 150 years.