TIRANA BIENNALE 1

KILLING ME SOFTLY

National Gallery, Tirana, Albania

15.09 - 15.10. 2001

BILDMUSEET

TRANSFER

BildMuseet, Umeň, Sweden

25.10.2001 - 27.01.2002

THE MARITIME MUSEUM

PROJEKT FRAMTIDEN

Sjöhistoriska Museet, Stockholm

April - September 2003

Schengen Tours - The Work's Background

This work was specific designed for the Tirana Biennale having the Albanian situation in mind. All of us remember the pictures of overloaded ships with people falling in the water trying to leave the Albanian coast, many have seeing the Italian film L'America and some of us have seeing in the outskirts of Italian cities groups of gray poor people just standing in a corner of a street waiting for a opportunity to do something, make some money - Oh, they are those shitty Albanians! - answer a friend of mine from Milan when I asked, and he is very open minded... Albania it's a land in collapse and completely bankruptcy. Everyone want's to get out of there. Even those who have well paid jobs want to leave, too much corruption, the Mafia it's on control. The problem it is that no country in the world wants the Albanians, they carry a stigma: They are poor, they are not welcome. Nevertheless they desperately need to improve their situation and feed their families. They must try to leave and get a job somewhere. It is a Human Right

Since the Schengen Treaty is functioning there is no possible legal way for the poor Albanians (or any other group or individuals) to immigrate, not even as a refugee, to Europe. This new situation gave birth to a new industry, the deadly industry of people smuggling, mostly in the hand of criminals. Plenty of people died already trying to step into Fortress Europe, and many more will.

- 3490 refugee died until 20.11.2002, and many more since. Get the complete list at:

http://www.united.non-profit.nl/pdfs/listofdeaths.pdf

or downloaded from here:

deathlist (pdf document - 128,0 kb)

The Schengen Treaty - Fortress Europe

The Schengen Treaty it's a paper construction signed by the countries of the European Community and Norway to avoid, in a "legal" way, the Geneva Convention for Human Rights, which they also signed. In that convention it is written that everyone persecuted in the own country has the right to ask for help and shelter and all the countries that signed it has the obligation to attend this person until proved right or wrong. This gives some trouble to the hosting country because they have to support these people with housing, food, sanity care, education and in plenty of cases especial medical treatment since plenty of refugees are coming from deeply traumatic war experience. Since some of these conflicts are long lasting the refugees become citizens, unfitted and unwanted. All this cost money. In the Schengen Treaty they found a way to come around to that Human Right: Everyone has the right to APPLY for shelter BEFORE entering and from OUTSIDE the Schengen countries borders. They simply must ask for a visa. Which they never get. Any person without a visa in the Schengen territory is an ILLEGAL ALIEN and it's thrown out of the country on the spot with no right to claim refugee status.

To make sure that nobody get into Schengen without permit, a gigantic wall has been build all around Europe, larger and far more sophisticated then the Berlin's wall ever been. This wall was build in complete silence and without any protest or repercussion in the media: it is for our protection, to protect US from THEM, those who want to come to steal our wives, take our jobs, spend our tax money and dirty one's neighborhood.

Fortress Europe, with border militarization, asylum laws, detention policy, deportations, carrier sanctions... has close tightly the doors and no one in need it's welcome, not even people from those countries that gave shelter to European refugees during two World Wars and the depressions in between and after. Only young, healthy, well educated (university degree) people, whit language knowledge and money have a chance to be accepted... Cynic? No, business, as usual.

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