“Limbo” is the first chapter of a project on migrant smuggling via land and sea in Africa through the Mediterranean. It collects the experiences of five men, and of others connected to them, in Tunisia. “Limbo” is not about migration, refugees or immigrants in Europe. It rather tells the story of men who were left behind, who failed to reach their destination, and who are now living in a condition of perpetual uncertainty.
By reporting their stories through words and photographs, it also wishes to underline how “destination” has lost its geographic connotation for these men.
Valentino Bellini is a freelance documentary photographer & co-founder of Minimum based in Palermo; and Eileen Quinn is a PhD student in human rights and freelance journalists based also in Palermo.
Bellini and Quinn often work together documenting contemporary stories related to human rights, environment and social issues.
Limbo was presented during Slideluck Gazebook, Sicily.
a. What program was used to create the multimedia?
We used Adobe premiere.
b. How and why did you choose that sound/music?
The sound we selected for our multimedia is largely derived from interviews conducted by Eileen in Tunisia with the immigrants subject of Limbo.
We felt their voices, coupled with the sound of rain in the background, would help the observer empathize more with the topic of Limbo, which is about men who were abandoned in their quest for a safer life in Europe. The other predominant sound is the Adham, the call to worship recited by the muezzin at prescribed times of the day. The Adham was a recurrent sound during our field work in Tunisia, and it has shaped our concept of Limbo in a rather unconscious way.
c. Tell us about the editing process when you think of a multimedia.
Editing for this particular multimedia was driven by our desire to show what the men we met in Tunisia are going through, without telling too much to the observer. We felt it was more urgent to “keep the editing simple”, and not to add too much writing or explanatory material to it, because in a way the people we met say a lot about themselves. Hence it was more about finding a proper balance between the way these men were portrayed in the photos, and the sound of their own voices, or of all those background elements we were hearing too while talking to them. We then decided to integrate these with some written components, so as to help the observer understand what the general topic is. Yet, our main inspiration was the idea of letting each observer build their own personal emotional understanding of Limbo.