Dienstleistung: Fluchthilfe

E-mail by Candice Breitz

I read the Neues Grenzblatt from cover to cover, which was a little bit of a mission, since my German is not the best. But well worth the effort.
I am so impressed by your project. It is really quite amazing - both in terms of the content and also in terms of the very well-conceptualized volkisch appearance which makes a lot of sense given your intentions. Much of what is written in the Neues Grenzblatt was very familiar to me. As you know well, the same issues plague border-crossing in Africa and for Africans.
Also, when I was recently in Bordeaux, I saw a completely problematic documentary on the Dover tragedy - it was pure propaganda of course - and so it was so great to see your complete inversion of the usual terms applied to such incidents. The way you and Martin reframe the issues is so pertinent and so succinct. I would be curious to hear more about the feedback you received from people living on the Styrian border. It is also refreshing for me to experience your project because so often the isseus you address are virtually ignored within Europe. I am constantly shocked by how naive my European friends are about how hard it is for people to move around the globe. Of course when I travel, I have the huge advantage of being white and middle class, but nevertheless, I am sure that the time I spend in visa offices each time I travel would add up to about two weeks a year and a helluva a lot of paperwork and money too. I often find myself in the position of the Sarajevo academic described by Kanak Attak... My favorite story was when I was doing a stipendium last summer in Berlin and needed to travel to Taiwan for an exhibition. When I tried to apply in Berlin for the Taiwanese visa, I was told: "First you're South African, then you're based in the United States, then you're making a stipendium in Germany and now you want a visa for Taiwan? You have to go back to South Africa to apply for that visa." But of course the way it sounded was more like: "First you rape my mother, then you murder my father, then you burn down my house, then you take down my job and now you want to steal my car?
Go back to your country!" Of course, this is just an anecdote and in the end my own visa experiences are trivial and negligible compared to the suffering that is experienced every day on that Styrian border and by those who are truly fucked by the system. Nevertheless, it does surprise me constantly how often Europeans (I'm talking here about those with tertiary educations who are sophisticated and utterly lefty) don't even know that some people have
to have visas to travel. Of course the Americans are the worst when it comes to being clueless about such facts. Whatever the case may be, I think very very often when I cross borders about how awful it is for those who do not have the resources to move as easily as some of us do, and I am truly impressed by your project and am sure that it is raising the awareness of many.

Aluta continua.