Italian artists Pippa Bacca and Silvia Moro decided to make an artistic statement about trust. They wanted to travel by autostop (hitchhiking) from Milano to Syria. They would do it dressed as brides. This was first of all to attract attention locally to those who were on the road, but also because the bride represents an idea of future and hope, and generally, in most cultures, especially our Mediterranean one, the bride is considered to be a vessel of purity and is respected.
Along the way, they wanted local women to add an embroidered element to their gowns, and after all of this was done, it would serve as a testimony of the meeting of cultures and communication between people. Most of all, they had decided that they would need to let go of fear and trust that others would carry them safely. It was to express a message that almost is difficult to articulate without sounding too Pollyanna.
The dream was shattered into pieces on Friday, as it was discovered that one of the women was raped, assassinated, stripped of her clothing and buried in a shallow grave by one of the persons who gave her a ride.
When I first heard of this artistic endeavour, I wasn’t too keen on it. Especially because the radio speaker said they were to go as far as Tel Aviv. I later discovered they would go to Beirut and Damascus. I really hate it when there is a trend to call anything involving Israel for “peace”. This is what happens here, as if there is some automatic connection of the two. Those of us who are not disinformed know how it is, but most people think Israel is fighting for peace in a hostile world, and this kind of propaganda is damaging mostly because it is a lie. But when I learned more about the trip, I thought it was very symbolic and intriguing.
Then, I heard that the two women had a disagreement and split. They decided to meet up in Ankara. Also, this was odd. If they are supposed to be a vehicle for dialogue, they themselves should be the first example, and not a lesser consideration, there is safety in numbers.
No one knows what lies in store, especially “on the road” and in a totally vulnerable position as is a hitchhiker. Who knows where you will be taken, who is driving you? Does that person deserve trust just because you want to give trust?
The unfortunate Pippa Bacca was assassinated while trying to demonstrate that trust was a beautiful thing. Her the conclusion to this propostion expressed as art was instead a demonstration that her thesis was wrong. Not because this happened in a foreign country, the same thing could and does happen on any street in any town you can name. There are sick and violent people everywhere and there are also those whose trust is more angelic than human.