Broomberg & Chanarin: The Bureaucracy of Angels

King's Cross St. Pancras Station, London, United Kingdom
28 Sep 2017 - 25 Nov 2017

Broomberg & Chanarin: The Bureaucracy of Angels

Art on the Underground presents The Bureaucracy of Angels, a 12-minute film by Broomberg & Chanarin from September 28 to November 25, 2017 at King’s Cross St. Pancras Station.

The Bureaucracy of Angels records the demolition of 100 migrant boats in Sicily in the winter of 2016. These boats arrived laden with refugees from North Africa and while their human cargo were either sent home or absorbed into the asylum system, the boats themselves were never returned to their owners, laying beached on the concrete forecourt of Porto Pozallo in Sicily.

The film is narrated by the hydraulic jaws of the digger charged with the job of destroying the boats, tearing them apart into their constituent parts of timber and metal, a process that took forty days to complete. The digger appears in the narrow corridors of the boat yard, on the open sea and in the midst of a rescue operation off the coast of Libya, as a Cantastoria or “singing storyteller,” recounting the Sicilian ballad Terra ca nun senti. The song speaks of the fear and pain associated with immigration to and from Europe’s most southerly territory over the last 150 years. It was composed and recorded by the London Sinfonietta.

A limited edition print by Broomberg & Chanarin is available to buy at art.tfl.gov.uk. All proceeds donated to Migrant Offshore Aid Station.




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