Overcoming Boundaries and crossing Borders


Overcoming Boundaries and crossing Borders
On the way to the workshop, always walking along the fence.

On the way to the workshop, always nicely along the fence...

This morning there was another mass attempt to cross the border. The Guardian Civil drove through the city hour after hour, the helicopters circled and the police officers - who were staying in my hotel - ran around frantically making loud phone calls.

300 people, only one managed to escape. They tried several places at once, on land and across the sea.

This is, of course, a topic on the way to the workshop today. Memories come flooding back. One of them talks about his 1 1/2 year journey from Guinea to Melilla. Via Mauritania, Senegal and Algeria to Monte Gurugu on the border. He was lucky and managed to climb over on his first attempt. Of the 300 who tried at the time, only 20 made it. He talks about the Moroccan police who beat the fugitives sitting on the fence from below with long iron bars and about the Guardian Civil who - after they had successfully crossed - also beat them and smashed their mobile phones. Another said this was not so bad, he was beaten back through a door to Morocco after successfully overcoming the fence. This is called "hot deportation" and is clearly against European asylum law. It took him several months to recover enough to make another attempt - this time successfully.

Most people here can tell of such attacks, whether by Moroccan security (the Moroccan army has more or less privatised the border control department) or the Spanish Guardia Civil.

For those who can't believe all this, I recommend the video below, which documents some of the attacks of the past year. It was made for the current exhibition 100 Artistas en la frontera sur. The video ends with an insert that I would like to endorse: this documentation was made possible by the work of numerous artists, photo reporters and activists from the DDHH. Some of them have been fined for the footage they have just seen, others have had their cameras confiscated.

To all of them: Thank you!

Unfortunately the video has been taken off the net

Note 27.01.2024: Unfortunately the video was taken off the net, other videos can be found here on Vimeo