Miguel Rozas

Not In Sight
February 2024

NOT IN SIGHT is a video art work, in order to give more visibility to the human tragedy that represents the African immigration in Europe today.

It is a piece that shows us a video staging centered on Amadou Bah, a young African refugee who managed to survive the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea, who, surrounded and covered with golden survival blankets and immersed in the sound produced by these, demands the attention, recognition and empathy of the spectator.

Known for its crystal-clear blue water, beautiful sunsets, and top vacation destinations, calling the Mediterranean Sea a “vast cemetery” seemed rather paradoxical. However, this sea has, in fact, become the graveyard for thousands of migrants who have drowned along the Central Mediterranean route, the world’s deadliest migration route. These migrants originate from various regions, with the majority traveling from Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the magnitude of the problem, more than 25,000 African migrants have died by drowning in the Mediterranean since 2014, this issue has received very limited media coverage, in the eyes of the rest of the world; African migrants seem to be „invisible”.

The political will to save African migrants, however, is evidently missing. The framing of Africa as the “Dark Continent,” which was designed and is still used to alienate Africans as the “other,” plays a crucial role in perpetuating the apathy and lack of mobilization around this issue.

Consequently, with overexposure to bad news from the continent, the mental and psychological image of Africa presented by Western media to Western media audiences is that Africa is a failed continent ravaged by political instability, economic backwardness, extraordinary famine and drought, poverty, diseases, and culturally primitive
ways of doing things. Viewers inevitably normalize these tragedies and employ compassion fatigue to distance and detach themselves from all news concerning African immigration and the human tragedy that it entails.

For 20 years I have worked as a photographer and cinematographer in video-art and documentaries, but also as a cameraman for television news, both at the European Commission in Brussels and in Berlin. This work has allowed me to collaborate with various TV channels in several European countries and to witness how the media and politicians handle and manipulate the most essential information and the extent to which socio-political issues concerning minorities, and in particular those related to the African continent, are ignored by both the media and the governments in power.

Today it is urgent to give visibility to this underrated group of human beings, without the aggressiveness and sensationalism to which television usually appeals, but through art. With this, I believe we can begin to sensitize public opinion about this dramatic situation and thus rebuild the necessary human empathy.

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