Enrica Camporesi

(Forly (Italy), 1985)

Performing the Self: the interview, 2017

Video instalación de tres canales, color, sonido, 50’

[ENG]  Performing the self — the interviewmade in collaboration  together with researcher Enrica Camporesi. It stages the impossible conversation between a protection officer and an asylum seeker just before the interpreter arrives. Drawing on interviews with protection officers, asylum seekers, recognized refugees, lawyers and social workers as well the academic literature, “Performing the self — the interview” zooms in on the protection officer and the asylum seeker as co-producers of a dialogical but reliable and consistent life story, a new and reasonable plot whose crucial goal is to be awarded with the asylum status. 

The interview is a real “make or break moment” in the life of the asylum seeker. And it puts the protection officer under the immense pressure of judging someone else’s future risk of persecution mainly based on his own oral testimony, while tolerating the intrinsic uncertainty of such a decision making process. What might happen before such an overloaded conversation begins? “Performing the self — the interview” builds up an imaginary space that redefines the existing protocol of questions and answers, mutual expectations and power relations.