National borders are increasingly frontlines of political and social dissent. Asylum-seeking and political migration are some of the most significant issues of our time. Border Crossings aims to probe the background of border activism, examining how artists and cultural practitioners have explored immigration and border crossing within Europe and beyond.
There is a rich history of artists siting work specifically at national borders. The Border Art Workshop began by artist Guillermo Gomez-Peña and others, has involved artists in actions at the US/Mexico border since 1984. In recent times, this border has again been the subject of artistic interventions through the borderhack initiative.
In Europe, overt activism and civil disobedience disrupting borders is increasing. New technologies - especially the internet - have become powerful communication tools for the development of projects which question the way that migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are treated within Europe. Websites, email networks, net-based audio transmissions and online video-conferences are some of the mechanisms which have been employed by groups such as the No Border network , for organising, promoting and siting actions. Initiatives such the No One is Illegal campaign, provide a framework for groups engaged with diverse issues in art and politics to collaborate on projects which support illegal migrants, promote public debate about illegal border-crossing, and protest against deportations.
This discussion will explore the contentious role of borders in Europe and beyond, and the way artists are contesting geographical and cultural perimeters.
Border Crossings features artist, Heath Bunting (UK), activist and filmmaker Florian Schneider (Germany) and writer and curator, Armin Medosch (UK/Austria).