Melilla tiene una Valla (Melilla has a fence)

City:Vienna, Austria
Measures:70 x 50cm (unframed)
44 x 44 cm (unframed)
40 x 50 cm (unframed)
30 x 40 cm (unframed)
30 x 20,5 cm (unframed)
23 x 17 cm (unframed)
12,5 x 17,5 cm (unframed)
Media:Embroidery on Canvas

The eleven-kilometre-long and six-metre-high fence that separates the Spanish city of Melilla from its Moroccan neighborhood is more than just a physical existence.

It not only marks the geopolitical border between Europe and Africa, but also stands for the stark contrast between paradise and barbarism, between human life and the relentless struggle for survival. Despite their constant presence in the city, the daily refugee tragedies that take place in this place are often neglected from a European perspective.

Tanja Boukal meticulously walked the entire length of the fence and documented the reality with her lens. These photos were then transformed into embroidered images. At first glance, these embroidered pictures are reminiscent of the familiar aesthetics of cross-stitch packs, which are usually sold as embroidery sets. Popular motifs in these embroidery sets are generally domestic happiness or European landmarks.

Closer inspection, however, reveals a narrative that underscores the harsh realities along this divisive border.

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