Sibiliana is a work by italian artist and musician Gaspare Sammartano who uses AM transmissions captured on the western coast of Sicily and field recordings took on the same shore nearby Trapani. By exploring the radio frequencies, he reflects on ideas of connection, imagination, migration, transnationality and porosity, in a land where integration between different ethnicities and cultures has always been very fruitful.
The connection between Tunisia and Trapani is a fundamental piece of the history of this land: from the early ‘70s, Mazara has been welcoming families of Tunisians, that slowly created the Casbah in the historical Centre of the city (which - by the way - during the Middle Ages was populated by Arabs).
The Tunisians who landed found a job on big fishing boats, learning and keeping alive the art of fishing. A tradition that has always been symbol of the city. Many others became street vendors, with different, generally obsolete, electronic devices, tiny radios that they use to intercept radio transmissions from their home land: a news bulletin, a song, a pray.
Radio frequencies cross borders and to tune-in in the heart of the Mediterranean means to be able to listen to transmissions coming from all over the place. Listening to radio may become an act of resistance, a way to feel home away from home.
Gaspare Sammartano is an Italian musician and underground sound artist. He runs the independent label Canti Magnetici and works as boom operator for independent cinema.