Ode to Joy

Joy, bright spark of divinity,
Daughter of Elysium,
Fire-inspired we tread
Thy sanctuary.
Thy magic power re-unites
All that custom has divided,
All men become brothers
Under the sway of thy gentle wings.

Whoever has created
An abiding friendship,
Or has won
A true and loving wife,
All who can call at least one soul theirs,
Join in our song of praise;
But any who cannot must creep tearfully
Away from our circle.

Friedrich Schiller’s libretto is used by Ludwig van Beethoven in the final movement of his Symphony No. 9, which was adopted as the Anthem of Europe by the European Union.The text tells a lot about the way Europe defines itself and its relation to uninvited intruders. With great pathos it describes the classical ideal of a society of equals, which are connected by the bond of joy and friendship.

A white lace cloth, hand-knitted of highest quality cashmere by Tanja Boukal, bears the libretto of the Europe Anthem framed by barbed wire panels. This cloth accompanied the artist’s wanderings around Melilla. On both sides of the border, she took photographs of migrants wrapped in this luxury plaid, wrapped in these high ideals of Europe.

You can download an overview of all photos here