Тhe economy of borders / Online-Marathon
By Eirini Vlavianou - Das ist euer krieg, nicht meiner / This is your war, not mine, 2020
This project is a pen illustration which tries to address the position of women in situations of war and destruction. Structured in reference to many symbolisms extracted from classical painting, the work unveils a female figure rising in a manner similar to that of a monument, from rough waters while a deconstructed, the destroyed city lies behind her. Rough waters are usually used in art history as a means to manifest pain, disease, war or destruction. The use of an iconography similar to that of the Art Nouveau movement, in which women are portrayed as ethereal and seductive, as a decorative erotic object in the painting that is, is not aimless. As the title of the work implies, the purpose of this illustration was to underline the minimum say women have in political choices, while being the ones that are inflicted the most pain. Wars, being the continuation of patriarchal power remnants, always place the most vulnerable in situations that do not involve them. We, as women, in particular, are constantly found in between battles organized
and manifested by men for men. This is a shout out for everyone who has been hurt, used, abused, manipulated, blamed while being under circumstances they did not choose. When the inhumanity doesn't hurt us, it makes us stronger!
By Antigone Theodorou and Parwana Amiri
For this project I came in contact with Parwana Amiri, refugee from Afghanistan who is living at Ritsona refugee camp in Greece. Parwana is an author, a poet, an education volunteer and equal rights and justice activist. She published the books 'Olive tree and old woman' and 'My pen will never break but borders will'. She is sixteen years old, she speaks five languages and dreams of entering politics to defend the rights of the oppressed. I wanted her voice to be heard, so I asked her to write and send me her words. She sent me several examples of her letter and we corrected many times. She couldn't find more paper so she sent me the final letter written on a paper box. I found this very sweet. I thought from the beginning that it will be nice and strong if her handwriting will be on the poster and not me writing it again or write it on the computer using fonts and decorate it. If you are interested you could have a look at her social media where among other things she shared videos considering the situation inside the camp during the pandemic.
Instagram : parwana_amiri / Fb: Parwana Amiri / twitter : parwana_amiri
By Liwaa Yazji
This is a trailer to my film "Haunted", it talks about Syrian in one of the critical moments as I believe during these harsh times. whether to leave Home or not... if you ever had the luxury even to question. Syrians like everyone else like their homes (some spent over 20 years to obtain one!) so, it is not easy for them to be so uprooted... it was crucial to film Syrians while still in Syria... to give a correct idea how they are not Naturally Born Refugees as media makes of them.
To have a safe place to live in is a right
To have a future is a right
If countries sell weapons to Syria, it is strange that the same countries refuse to take in refugees... the natural outcome of wars they had their fingers in.
People will continue to move due to so many reason... climate, wars, pandemics... as long as the wealth distribution is so imbalanced and abusive.
By Vera Varlamova
How to play?
By Antigoni Tsagkaropoulou
This is Tinhairbell, a non-binary, trans-Hairy Fairy.
For me it was important to create a transfeminist, intersectional message, spreading radical softness, tenderness, and vulnerability as a political tool of resistance against all borders and oppressive regimes.
This is a small poetic fairytale about her.
The Hairy Fairy was born out of the last tears of a woman who was burnt at the stake after she had been accused of witchcraft. That day Ursula let her bittersweet tears fall, she let them flow on her whole body and fall on the ground. Her body, a source of identity and prison, turned into ashes, which seeped through the ground and took root in the silent history of the world. Tinhairbell rose from the mud and the trails of death. One component of her essence is the constant fear of persecution. She flies with her one shiny wing in perpetuity across time and opposes all the mechanisms of control and exploitation of her body using her supersized arms. Her fairy dust consists of the voices of women covered by silence, the therapists, the insubordinates, the gossips, those who poisoned their masters and lived by themselves in the margins. If you look down below the sky and close your eyes, you might see her sprinkling glitter with her colourful boxing gloves.
Η Τριχωτή Νεράιδα γεννήθηκε από το τελευταίο κλάμα μιας γυναίκας που βρισκόταν πάνω στους πασσάλους της πυράς επειδή την κατηγόρησαν για μαγεία. Εκείνη τη μέρα η Ούρσουλα ελευθέρωσε τα γλυκόπικρα δάκρυά της, τα άφησε να διασχίσουν το κορμί της και να πέσουν στο χώμα. Το σώμα της, πηγή ταυτότητας και φυλακής, μεταμορφώθηκε σε στάχτη η οποία εισχώρησε στο έδαφος και ρίζωσε στη σιωπηλή ιστορία του κόσμου. Η Τρίχερμπελ βγήκε μέσα από τη λάσπη και τα ίχνη του θανάτου. Ένα από τα συστατικά της υπόστασής της είναι ο διαρκής φόβος καταδίωξης. Πετάει με το ένα της αστρα-φτερό στο διηνεκές διασχίζοντας το χρόνο και εναντιώνεται με τα υπερμεγέθη της μπράτσα σε όλους τους μηχανισμούς ελέγχου και εκμετάλλευσης του κορμιού της. Η νεραιδόσκονή της αποτελείται από τις φωνές των γυναικών που τις κάλυψε η σιωπή, τις θεραπεύτριες, τις ανυπάκουες, τις κουτσομπόλες, αυτές που δηλητηρίαζαν τους αφέντες τους και ζούσανε μόνες τους στο περιθώριο. Αν κοιτάξεις χαμηλά κάτω από τον ουρανό και κλείσεις τα μάτια, ίσως τη δεις να σκορπίζει γκλίτερ με τα πολύχρωμα πυγμαχικά της γάντια.
By Greta Cazzola:
WIR SIND HIER, WIR SIND LAUT : MACHT PLATZ!
WE ARE HERE, WE ARE LOUD: MAKE SPACE/GET OUT OFF OUR WAY!
We – women*, migrants*, minorities – are part of this society and take place in building it.
Now we deserve our space, our recognition. We will not let this space be taken away from us. We are not quiet. And we are many.
This was the scream that echoed in the streets as we walked through the city on international women*s day. Walking through a city and shouting this slogan together with other allies fills me with strength and determination. And this strength I want to share!
By Gabriele Stötzer
For the time after: the social performance: learning from each other
Maybe for the time after an experience from the time before useful...
Through years of organizing a performance seminar at the university of erfurt every six months since 2010 i have developed – almost against my will – a knowledge in my mind. I felt it would be worthwhile to write down what i learned but have always avoided doing so. However, i will do it now. It is concerning the reorientation of communication which is now remotely controlled, remotely wired and remotely connected with all information and all events. Our life is in constant motion, a taking in and a giving (of air, of food, of fluid, of thoughts). I call it a constant process of development or learning. And an essential understanding we humans should learn and live with in order to practice the harmony, the tolerance, the originality, humanism, and laughter, that is composed of our many diversities. I am talking about direct contact, person to person contact, the process of entering the world of the other and perceiving the world of the other, or towards the other, and at the same time, the connection of the other's connection to oneself. sensual learning processes, processes which can consist in the relearning of and the abandoning of old patterns, leading to new social interaction: the expanded interaction with each other, so to speak, based on respect and equal treatment of the ideas and the actions, and the physicality of a community with one another. In the performance presented here, I describe a possibility for this extended interaction with one another, a process of physical self-indulgence, spiritual delivery, the opening towards oneself, and others under the constant prerequisite of no-failure and self-satisfaction. The performance is based on minimalistic equipment – only the equipment of one's own body – that carries out one's own ideas and not those of others in the empty space, a space that is a visionary space for the visionary action. The period of my performance from getting to know each other until the presentation is a single week, the level of participation has been 6-20 students so far. The end product is a collaborative performance, I call it social performance.
by Florine Schüschke:
for all countries. and borders
multipass. one for
every person in the world.
same for everyone.
seems like a dream but
we have to believe in it
becoming true. a fight.
because passports are
the biggest inequity
one can imagine.
because passports are
the biggest absurdity
one can imagine.
By Batoul Sedawi:
Women are the most vulnerable to injustice in the war-torn countries, but in my country, the injustice will be doubly unfair as they are subjected to the worst kinds of torture and rape in the prisons, and after their release, they are ostracized by their families and society where they are considered to have brought shame to them.
النساء هم الاكثر تعرضا للظلم في البلاد التي تعاني من الحرب، لكن في بلادي سوف يكون الظلم مضاعفا حيث انها تتعرض لابشع انواع العذاب والاغتصاب في المعتقلات، وبعد خروجها تتعرض لنبذ من قبل اهلها ومجمتع حيث تعتبر قد جلبت عار لهم .
by Nicola Schüschke:
At the moment I am trying to understand the phenomenon of „Heimatroman“, a sub-genre of the German “Groschenroman”(dime-novel). Even if this kind of pulp literature seems absurdly outdated, it is being read widely throughout this country. People read them in order to get distracted, as the end is always a happy one, there’s nothing much you can miss. They are perfect to make yourself think that there are no problems in this world other than choosing between the rich and the beautiful. The stories follow strict rules: no politics, no sex, no surprise! They are full of reactionary images, submissive sexism and romanticized nationalism. Especially the cover images show what it’s all about: on most of the novels there’s a young couple or a girl smiling in the middle of nature. Even the colour-schemes often include the colours of the German flag. Absurdly, the Heimatroman is being published in higher numbers that any other books in Germany. I asked myself what kind of story the main author of German fiction, Angela Merkel, would write about. I figured out, it must be about „Grenzenlose Liebe“ – endless love, love without borders.
Still – even if Horst Seehofer doesn’t seem to come up with another volume of prose but just repeats his same old verses – I don’t lose hope that there are at least some others out here who have other ideas about “Heimat” than a flirt with the hunter on a castle in Bavaria!
Translation: Thomas Campbell
<< I found this image in a book of physical culture exercises, published in Hungary when it was part of the socialist block. I found this book a few years ago, when I was an MA student of an international program on dance studies in Szeged, a border city in a country obsessed with its imperial past. Back then (in 2014), the proximity of the border there seemed almost invisible; just a year later, the city became a place where many many more refugees were trying to and were denied to cross the EU border.
I found this book in a bar, it was part of the interior decoration. I did not speak the language it was published in, but I recognized the visual language of these socialist exercises. I erased the text and the body who performs the exercises from the image. It is only scores, the traces, the trajectories of movement that are left. But the actor - a girl - is not just invisible, she is fictional. Is what we see a trace of a movement which has already happened? Or is it a score for the future action? Or maybe an invitation to join. >>
This project took place on the different streets of Zurich. People were proposed to create the secure place by delineation their own territory using yellow chalk (this color signs public space places which are privatized). At the end the chalk circle makes people immovable inside.
By ‘The House of Women for Empowerment & Emancipation’:
This a collective work which has its own journey. The figure in the middle was drawn and sent to us as a gift by a woman who has been imprisoned in the hell of the Athens Aliens’ Detention Center, Petrou Ralli,* for more than seven months for not having papers. The heart is one of the sculptures she crafts from little pieces of paper glued together with toothpaste to entertain herself on sleepless nights. Her work inspired us to run a small workshop with a number of other ex-detained women. Since the drawing reflects themes of freedom, revolution and borders, we began brainstorming around these words, writing and drawing whatever came to our minds. We exchanged our thoughts, feelings and stories. For us it was an opportunity to come together and strengthen our relationships as well as our passion for solidarity and freedom, while enjoying ourselves on a long and suffocating summer evening with music and dance. The poster campaign gave rise to this beautiful collective experience of ours, inspiring and generating so much more than what
is visible in this work alone. We thank you all for that!
*On a daily basis people are being intercepted, detained and tortured by the joint forces of the Greek police, state and EU in an effort to exterminate refugees and migrants fleeing war, poverty and dictatorships. Since they cannot all be eliminated outright at the borders, these individuals are arrested and sequestered away in unbearable concentration camps and detention centers. Among these facilities is Petrou Ralli, a building which was initially used as an immigrant transfer center and has now evolved into a cramped prison. The detainees’ only ‘crime’ is that they do not possess documents. The numbers are continuously changing with new arrests brought in and others cast out on the street again or facing deportation.
Our initiative ‘The House of Women for Empowerment & Emancipation’ is part of the anti-authoritarian solidarity grassroots movement. We are a self-organized feminist collective opposed to all states and borders, political parties, public or private institutions and NGOs. We are committed to the struggle for women’s emancipation and the end of gender based and racial violence, homophobia, transphobia, sexism and the trafficking of women and children that is reproduced by the machinery of patriarchy globally. For almost 4 years, we have been meeting with detained women, starting our visits at Helliniko and then at Petrou Ralli. We listen to detainees’ stories and demands and document the problems they face, attempting to answer their questions and give voice to their denunciations. At the same time, we try to foster and sustain a broader local and international social network of solidarity with other individuals and collectives through organizing events around imprisonment and other gender issues. We work to build and strengthen our relationships and empower one other, even after women are released from the detention center. Together we struggle for our liberation.
FOR THE BREAKDOWN OF BORDERS, THE ABOLITION OF DETENTION CENTERS, PRISONS & CONCENTRATION CAMPS,
AGAINST THE PANDEMIC OF PATRIARCHY,
SOLIDARITY AND SELF ORGANIZATION ARE OUR WEAPONS
Fb: Το Σπίτι των Γυναικών, για την Ενδυνάμωση & τη Χειραφέτηση
By Clara Stella Hüneke:
Documentary I did on Athens recent resistance history.
The documentary „Parko“ deals with an occupied space which used to be a commercial parking spot and got transformed into a lively green park during the uprising of 2008 in Athens. It delivers an intense view on life during the crisis and we see the collective in a dialog about self-organisation and a city from below. We accompany their assamblies and see how they are organized, how the place got squated and why they believe in a collective space. The film highlights one microcosm fighting against capitalism with an open space for everyone.
By Eleonore de Montesquiou
JESSI: Jessi is an English speaking Cameoonese woman. She wanted to come and live in Europe, the situation for English speakers like her was dangerous in her country. She arrived in Estonia and when she tried to fly to her sister in Belgium, was imprisoned in Harku (Estonian jail for asylum seekers). In Harku, Jessi was the only woman, alone for more than half a year. I visited her often but we could never meet in freedom, Jessi was deported to Cameoon after 8 months in jail.
Dearest Jessi, how are you?
I have a question, I remember that you had a Bible in Harku. I am working now with stories of dear objects that one always takes along.
If you don’t mind your story being shared with many, would you tell me more about your Bible? Did you have it for long? As a child? Did you take it along on your travels? Do you still have it? What does it mean for you? Have you read it all? Or do you return to a few favourite texts? What does it look like?
Dear, good morning!
My bible is one of the precious things I hold so dearly in my life. Yes, I have had it since I was a child. I take it with me everywhere I go and I have also downloaded it in my phone. I have it always. I believe it solves all my problems at any time, I read it, it makes me happy .Yes, I have read it all. I also have some favourite texts that I go through depending on the situations which I find myself in. The Psalms are the most helpful texts. Whenever I read these texts, I feel uplifted and fulfilled in my spirit.
For Bibles, the editions that all churches use are good News, King James, New revised version. There are others, but these are the ones that are commonly used. As for me, I have Good news and I have downloaded King James and New revised version on my phone. They are all in English.
Eleonore: and what are the psalms that help you?
Jessi: Psalm 3, 4, 23, 51, 77, 91, 121, 142 and 150
Eleonore: how are you?
Jessi: Very fine. Thank God for his grace
Now that I am talking to you, many people in English speaking Cameroun can no longer stay in their houses. They are living in the bush.
Killing is taking place everyday.
We are living at the mercy of God.
Life is not easy.
After Jessi was deportet to Cameroon, she wrote to me:
The experience in Harku is something I don’t like to talk about. But all the same, if you can remember very well the number of months that I was there (8) I didn’t sleep for more than 3 hours a day. Since I had my bible, that was so precious to me, I spent most of my time reflecting on it. That kept me from having nightmares.