Somewhere in our world, a little boy. He has no toys because he is poor and where he lives there is no room for amusements: the available resources are just for survival, nothing is left for fun. But children, everybody knows, have plenty of resources. To kick a pebble is an amusing play, like imaging animal shapes on clouds or catching a lizard.
Suddenly a wonderful object appears to the little boy: half hidden by the grass, below that bush, lays a treasure one can't even dare to dream: a small, fragile toy, similar to a butterfly; the boy's imagination sees it like a parrot: a little, delicious green parrot with a golden comb.
Happiness is a poor word to express his delight; what he has found is so a great treasure worth to be instantly shown to his friends, who are as poor as he is; like he, they have no toys and almost no clothes.
Now they are all very happy because the treasure belongs to all of them; everybody can play with it without quarrelling. The small parrot passes from hand to hand, being cuddled, cleaned, rubbed by everybody... suddenly a flash, then darkness.
When he recovers the kid has no more his wonderful toy, nor his hands.
There is also the boy's father, who spends the whole daytime working in rice fields, trying to grow rice for his family and, if possible, selling the excess to buy some essential goods at his village market. Several years ago war passed through the country. The soldiers went across the rice fields but then they left: all this is now a lonely memory, vague and worthless like all memories. But the villagers say that the soldiers left something in the field, something evil; nobody knows what it is, but it seems that they dropped it just in our man's field... Everyone should avoid working in that field but he can't because it's the only one he owns: if he doesn't grow that field, he couldn't eat himself, his wife and his children. Then he drops his worries and goes on growing his rice in the same field where several years ago the soldiers left something; till one day he finds the thing and put his foot on it.
Father and son meet in the same poor, miserable hospital. A good doctor tries to help them at his best but little can be done for whom has lost a leg, even less for whom has lost an arm. Plenty of money would be needed but here there isn't any money at all. To the man a false, ugly and essential leg is given: two wooden pieces fastened with an iron rod. To the little boy, nothing at all: he is still young and will learn soon to sort it out for himself!
Let's try to imagine the man's feelings when he leaves the hospital. He's painfully limping; the new leg is far from working like the old one: it is ugly, awkward and unsteady. The man becomes scared of everything moving around because what happened was so dreadful that he can't even realise that it was not a nightmare.
The man is terrified and feels ashamed; he realises to be no more helpful to his family being unable to look after himself, nor after his son: he couldn't even hold him by his hand.
Survivor endeavours to symbolise all this. Its creator, Laura Morelli, represents the wounded man, mortified by such barbarian and, at the same time sadistically sophisticated tool, using an old, small chair coming from a primary school. But this chair only has two legs: the other two are replaced by a rough and shaky mechanism. The chair limps and, now and then, falls down.
Riccardo Cassinis has inserted within this frame a small computer operating according to the elementary schemes of human behaviour and emulating the feelings and reactions of the wounded man: fear, shame, tiredness and hunger, but also the need to socialise with the other human being.
Thus, survivor painfully walks in his little world, trying to contact people around himself, who curiously look at him but then evade him because, it must be said, it is a little scary. He walks dragging his dreadful burden: a small bag full of fragments of murderous bombs and mines: so nobody will forget!