ENCOUNTER

Originally commissioned through the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2020



Installation at Jerwood Arts ©Anna Arca


He was an educated man from a good Togolaise family.
He arrived in Italy with a few clothes, some books and the dream of finding a good job. A few weeks later he was picking up tomatoes in a field for a few cents a box.


Self Portrait as My Father 
Encounter  (2019)
Giclée print
88.9cm x 88.9cm
ed 5+2AP



Silvia Rosi’s Encounter is a fictional representation of her family album. Inspired by an image of her young mother as a market trader in Lomé, Rosi retraced her parents’ journey of migration from Togo to Italy.
With her mother as source and muse, Rosi performs her family narrative recreating both visual and oral histories through the combination of photography, text, and video. She references the aesthetics of West African studio portraits through the use of backdrops and props. The act of head carrying, a skill traditionally passed on from mother to daughter, is central to the work, learned and performed by Rosi in an attempt to regain a tradition that has been lost through migration and her position as a European.
































She worked as a market seller from a really young age to support her mother. She would leave the house early in the morning with a tray of toothpicks carried on top of her head. She walked around the neighbourhood shouting loudly to attract customers' attention. After selling for about an hour she would go home, bathe, put on her uniform and walk to school with her sister.

1  Self Portrait as My Mother is School Uniform
Encounter  (2019)
Giclée print
69.8cm x 69.8cm
ed 5+2AP


2  Sihin, Encounter  (2019)
Video
run time; 1min





Installation at Jerwood Arts ©Anna Arca