Migration, Sex, History: Africa/Europe

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A Research into Labor, Theory, Activism and Migration from Africa into Europe in the 21st Century.(Why is Africa cursed in Europe?)

FILM by Marina Gržinić/Aina Šmid + Tjaša Kancler (Slovenia, Austria, Spain)
60 minutes; color, sound (2014)


Kje: Socialni center ROG, Ljubljana
Pogovarjala se je Marina Gržinić
Snemalx je Tjaša Kancler

Aigul Hakimova je aktivistka skupine Dostje!, Nevidnih delavcev sveta in Socialnega centra Rog (SC Rog). Intervju smo posneli v SC Rog, ki je simbol avtonomne kulture in družbenega upora v Ljubljani. Leta 2006, (24 marca) je skupina aktivistov zasedla zapuščen kompleks nekdanje tovarne Rog (tovarne koles) v centru Ljubljane. Po zasedbi so skvoterji ustanovili avtonomno kulturno, socialno in politično produkcijo SC Rog. Leta 2013 so ob 7 obletnici zasedbe tovarne zapisali, da se obletnica dogaja v kontekstu družbenega vrenja, vstaj, nepovratne krize neoliberalnega načina vladanja, v kontekstu začetka množičnega premišljevanja, upiranja in iskanja alternativ.

/Preberi intervju (pdf)/

Where: Social Center Rog, Ljubljana
A conversation with Hakimova by Marina Gržinić
Filmed by Tjaša Kancler

Aigul Hakimova is a member of the activist groups Enough! (Dostje!), Invisible Workers of the World (IWW), and of the Social Center Rog (SC Rog). The interview was filmed in SC Rog, which is a symbol of autonomous culture and social revolt in Ljubljana. In 2006 (24 of March), a group of activists occupied the abandoned complex of former factory Rog (factory of bicycles) in the center of Ljubljana. After the occupation, the squatters founded an autonomous cultural, social and political production SC Rog. In 2013, during the 7th anniversary of the occupation of the factory, the activists wrote, that this anniversary is happening in the context of social dissent, uprisings, irreversible crisis of neoliberal mode of governance, in the context of the beginning of massive rethinking, resistance and searching for alternatives.

/Read the interview (pdf)/

by Marina Gržinić and Tjaša Kancler
Where: club Marea Alta, Vienna

Gin Müller is an artist, performer, dramaturge and activist. He participates in the REFUGEE PROTEST CAMP MOVEMENT in Austria.

/Read the interview (pdf)/

by Marina Gržinić and Tjaša Kancler
Where: Akbild, Vienna

Clifford Erinmwionghae is a migrant and activist. He studies Post Conceptual Art Practices at the Academy for fine Arts in Vienna.

Numan Mohammad and Khan Adalat are refugees and activists of the REFUGEE PROTEST CAMP MOVEMENT in Austria.

Marissa Lôbo is a migrant black activist and artist. She co-ordinates the cultural work within a self-organization of migrant women – Maiz, Linz (www.maiz.at). She studies Post Conceptual Art Practices at the Academy for fine Arts in Vienna.

/Read the interview (pdf)/


Departing from a tradition in politically engaged art experimental projects, we want to make a film to reflect on Europe and its borders, elaborating different conditions for living and acting. This is coming as an imperative. It is a question of establishing new possibilities for forming a different, but counter, almost bastard, dissident history of Europe, better to say of EU, that is, of migration, empowerment and reflection. Transsexual and defiant. The film strives to produce another history and to delink itself from conventionality of the melodramatic language and narratives presented by official film productions.

The idea is to travel in Europe and instead of easy TV objective didacticism to recollect statements by those, that we as authors of the film, found important in their writings, analyzing, performing. From serious academic positions, but still not part of the mainstream, to revolutionary usage of poetry, to analysis of concrete migration, deportation and discrimination processes. Those that we selected are not just speaking heads, they are already forming the political agenda of the film.

The film will be a documentary fictionalized road movie for the 21st century that will consists of several interviews. Making a round trip from Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Britain, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and coming to Slovenia.

It is necessary to radicalize the language of film, to collect, elaborate and stage, if necessary, the discussions on the present situation of dispossessions, discrimination and exploitation in order to make the images of violence (against refugees, asylum seekers and those seen as different, as others, the rest) clearly present here and now. The idea is to situate a film in between not quite a documentary, not a narrative, fiction either, but to incorporate the elements of both; particularly the insertion of documentary to disrupt the narrative flow; the fragmentation and re-arrangement of the plot.

Let’s say “Each generation necessarily engages in a process of rewriting/reconstituting the past. Film makers have to paint their own landscapes; they must breathe new life into each moment in cinema. That can only be achieved when practitioners have mapped out the field of visual representations and the film techniques they wish to deploy.” – Reece Augiste, Member Black Audio Film Collective (BAFC)

The social, political space is disintegrating under economic pressures, neoliberalizations and bigger and bigger precarity. This results in a situation of deterioration of rights by those who were seen as not being part of nation body. Uprisings and self-organization of workers and refugees open the questions of discontinuities in the history of Europe after WWII. Practically we see the passage from migrants to criminals, the reactionary narrativisation of past colonialism, present refugees and new forms of racisms.

Depoliticization of the space of Europe is going on with strong criminalization that leads to violent decomposition of political demands.

The EU politics is the one of brutality, racial undercurrents, economic inequalities and silenced history of migration and immigration. The EU is a place of a constantly hiding its proper policy of colonialism, anti-Semitism and racism, and therefore it is the intention to construct a different logic to dominant thinking on migration, sexuality and history. The refugees, the migrants, are presented as uneducated and passive while the idea is to see them speaking, contextualizing their positions, reflecting. Also regarding aesthetics it is here the point of the rest, the others, of the bastards.

Nation-state always functions through a production of a space of unity based on the blood and soil. A construction of a nation-state new archive is an archive without migrants. By “‘ideology’ we are not referring to the sitting ducks of cultural criticism: race, class, and gender. Instead [. . .] ideology in the most basic sense of the word: as a rational legitimization of the existing order and a tacit agreement in which everyone is involved: politicians and venture capitalists, administrators and….” (Lara Nielsen).

Parallels can be drawn and used in terms of analyzing migration with judicial demands in terms of rights and papers and even more the idea of labor, division of labor while developing a political position with and through the film. In “Sensible Politics. The Visual Culture of Nongovernmental Activism” McLagan and Mc Kee say: “Attending to political aesthetics means focusing not on a disembodied image that travels under the concept of art or visual culture, nor on a preformed domain of the political that seeks subsequent expression in media form. Instead, it requires bringing the two realms together into the same analytic frame.”

The idea is to provide alternatives to classical and official mainstream cinema. To eschew the conventions and rework them being influenced by films from Latin America, the Black film movements, and the emerging cinema of Africa. The point of departure or better to say the context that underlies the film is several conditions, deliberations formed by several groups of conceptual revaluation of the film aesthetics in connection with new topics that has to be brought and elaborated in the film production. The lines are the Third cinema conceived by Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino, the L.A. Rebellion film movement (Charles Burnett, Haile Gerima and Julie Dash), The Black Audio Film Collective (BAFC) with John Akomfrah, the Sankofa collective of black British filmmakers with Isaac Julien, Martina Attille, Maureen Blackwood, Nadine Marsh-Edwards, etc. and the golden age of Yugoslav Black cinema with Dušan Makavejev, Živojin Pavlović, Aleksandar Petrović, Želimir Žilnik.

The film as well departs from an idea of the financialization of economy as finanancialization of images. Spectral, murky not identifiable centers of power, while the people in the protests can be looked online, and are so clearly depicted. What can be done with images and text with and by those new and old migrants positions, especially the one coming from Africa?

The film will depict this overflow of images and the European Union urban life with all the restrictions that is imposed on judicial, economical and civil rights and the possibilities.