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ON THE MOVE

Dear Readers,

December 10th, 2018, marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – today is #HumanRightsDay.

The declaration proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Whereas cross border migration is not a human right per se, more than 250 million, about 3 per cent of the world’s population, currently live outside their country of origin.

Notwithstanding that many migrants choose to leave their countries of origin each year, an increasing number of migrants are forced to leave their homes for a complex combination of reasons.

Poverty, lack of access to healthcare, education, water, food, housing, and the consequences of environmental degradation and climate change, as well as forced displacement such as persecution and conflict drive people’s migration.

While migrants are not inherently vulnerable, they can be vulnerable to human rights violations. Migrants tend to be disproportionately vulnerable to discrimination, exploitation and marginalisation, often living and working in the shadows, afraid to complain, and denied their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

To “prevent suffering and chaos” the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, also called Migration Pact, was just signed in Marrakesh by 164 countries, excluding the United States and several other countries – it is a non-binding document.

This first edition of our monthly topical newsletter series, is dedicated to those on the move.

#01

ON THE MOVE

Our Creative Series Beyond Borders pays tribute to questions of migration, humanity, borders and what they violate. We invite you to open your hearts and minds to the condition of those who have risked their lives in order to find a better place. We believe that humanism is the primary remedy to toxic policies.

man with baby on rubber boat
A father from Gambia with his baby moments before boarding a private sea rescue vessel in the Mediterranean Sea.

A summer with record-breaking heat levels across the Northern hemisphere lies behind us. With the rising temperatures, wildfires were bursting, homes overheating and lives were lost. In the Mediterranean Sea an estimated number of 100 migrants were dying on average each day, whereas volunteers and NGOs have been being criminalised for rescuing people trying to cross from Africa to Europe.

It is easy to think of migration as a result of localised economic or political upheaval, but as our planet’s climate shifts, environmental migration the world over is set to be the highest mover of them all.

While the end of the last century seemed to pave a way of thought that goes beyond borders, we find ourselves now caught in the narrow, dangerous and inhumane mindset of erecting these borders once again. The rise in populism and extremism wants us to believe that solutions lay within our borders. But the real challenges of our time, such as climate change, violent conflicts and economic inequality are of true global nature – they cannot be solved within national borders.

»WHO ARE THEY AND WHY ARE THEY COMING? COME, LISTEN. LISTEN TO THEIR STORIES. THEY ARE YOUR STORIES TOO. THEY COULD BE YOU.«

Georg Diez and Itamar Mann

Listen to their stories

In collaboration with artist and filmmaker Noaz Deshe we produced these shorts to let two amazing humans – who happen to be migrants – tell their own stories and by their own means. 

ocean moonlight

Floating

by Noaz Deshe, Shira Jeczmien

Floating on an ocean that has taken many lives, how can one fathom the sensation of safety?
sarah 1

Sarah

by Noaz Deshe

“The dream is in my lyrics.” At the top of the La Savine hill in the French city of Marseille, Sarah dreams of her roots in the East African island of Comoros.
A WORD WITH THE ARTIST

NOAZ DESHE

Creator and filmmaker of Beyond Borders series

01.
What have you learned from those who you’ve filmed?

Koksi's story is very inspiring. He has an endless craving to reach an unknown destination. Since the age of 14, Koksi has been trying to make it to Europe. He was caught 25 times. Despite having lost his friends to nature, experiencing human brutality, ignorance and greed, there is no anger in him. Koksi just wants an opportunity to prove himself and to be loved. I find this very beautiful.

Kids as young as nine years old, with a history similar to Koksi, understand very well complex immigration and identity issues. It becomes very obvious to them early on that a passport, regardless of your smarts or abilities, will define most of your social status and opportunities in life for work and study.

I feel very lucky to collaborate with anyone who opens their world in such a way. In this sense, I am always the student in the room and the camera is how I try to learn.

02.
What is the idea behind your approach?

There are several reasons for this approach. One is that I don't really know what reality is without testing its boundaries. Any new work is like an organism that needs to check its own relations with collective and personal realities. I myself cannot process reality without a good amount of fantasy. Sense memory like smell plays tricks on us all day when we travel from one place to the next, we can get washed by childhood images, fear, anxiety and passion on a simple subway trip.

I can't imagine a day without these layers of processing which help us define our relationship to the so-called physical collectively agreed reality. The two are inseparable and so a documentation of a person's story, in this case, Koksi, has to incorporate a documentation of what represents an inner fantasy in the same seamless way we question reality daily. In this case, a longing to connect.

03.
What is the most important message in your work?

Just like me, enjoy not knowing and find out more... (and he smiles)

WHAT’S HOME?
elpida_8

Home

by Alex King

Welcome to Elpida Home, a non-governmental organisation where the dream of integration co-existing with dignity, self-organisation and respect of cultural difference is a reality.
They Could Be Us

The undocumented children of Africa or the ones kept in caves at the US border, or the thousands of migrants in Europe and the activists trying to stand up for them – all of them could be us.

children border migrant

U.S. companies capitalise on detained migrant children

by Yair Oded

“I’d like to say it’s un-American, but it’s happening right now in America. And it is on all of us, not just the Trump administration."
orban

Viktor Orbán under threat

by Gurmeet Singh

The European Union is often criticised, and many times, rightly so. But when it comes to Hungary, the EU is right.
Bosnien

Not a single migrant wants to stay in Bosnia

by Katarina Panić

Bosnia Herzegovina was not part of the Balkan route for migrants from the Middle East and North Africa in 2015 when European migration crisis started. Now, the new Balkan route included this country too.
africa statelessness

Children of no one: Africa takes bold steps to address statelessness

by Bob Koigi

For 35 year old Absame Asad, it is tough being alive. While he was born in Somalia, he lost his father to the civil war of the 1980s which saw his mother and two siblings relocate to Kenya to start life afresh.