Chez MOI

2016 / 2019

The ex MOI was an housing occupation of Turin born on March 30, 2013 inside the buildings of the Olympic Village built for the 2006 Winter Games and then abandoned and left unused. Considered the biggest occupation of migrants and asylum seekers in Europe, it has hosted more than 1400 refugees from 28 different countries in Africa. Many of them arrived in Italy because of the war that broke out in Libya in 2011, following the end of Piano Emergenza Nord Africa found themselves on the street without future prospects and the impossibility of leaving the country.

The ex MOI was a city within a city. A place animated by a form of self subsistence and mutual help, where the inhabitants have lived a life in a purgatory searching for a job and a bureaucratic regularization for some of them never arrived.

I spent just over three years in this place that has become my home. In every word I heard, I found an infinite greatness and boundless prayer, a determination that has often been difficult for me to understand. The ability to resist in an exhausting wait. For the first time in my life, in this colorful city that many people have preferred to forget, I met in person the meaning of the word: resilience.

At dawn on July 30, 2019 the last two buildings have been cleared out and it’s all over. I closed my eyes for a moment in that courtyard full of doubts and voices. Of all the words, those of a friend have hit my heart harder: “I’m on that boat. I’ve never been down. I’m still on that boat.