Earlier, on September 30th we reported on “Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost During Migration” – a comprehensive research compiled by the International Organisation of Migration (IOM): it indicates that Europe is the world’s most dangerous destination for “irregular” migration.
According to IOM more than 22,000 migrants died while trying to cross European borders since the year 2000. IOM Director General William Lacy Swing called this walling-off an “epidemic crime and victimisation” and demanded: “It is time to do more than count the number of victims. It is time to engage the world to stop this violence against desperate migrants.”
In the run-up of the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall the art group “Zentrum für politische Schönheit” (Centre for Political Beauty) initiated a performance that is replacing sheer remembrance through nowness, and thoughtlessness through active solidarity with the next potential victims of another wall – a much bigger one, surrounding Europe like a dystopian fortress.
In this dystopian present 14 white crosses – once marking the lost lives while trying to cross from Berlin’s east to west – have fled from Berlin’s government district. According to the Centre for Political Beauty the dead victims of the Berlin Wall “fled to their brothers and sisters across the European borders to stand by them in an act of solidarity.”
The performance is accompanied by a civil action campaign whereby people can go by busses to Mediterranean borders and “tear down the European wall”. The campaign’s crowdfunding page contains instructions on how to dismantle a wire fence with tools like a bolt-cutter.
While donations are welcome to fund this campaign – each bus carrying 55 people will cost 5,900 € – Berlin will have its own performance sonorously called “Lichtgrenze” (Border of Light): according to Der Spiegel thousands of light bowls for the cost of more than one million Euro to provide its citizens the experience how it was to be surrounded by a wall. The bowls will be filled with helium and shall be released up to the sky.
Will migrants on the other side of the European wall see them?
Photo: Patryk Witt, Courtesy: Centre for Political Beauty