Parallel infrastructures #3 (Torino revisited)

Have been spending the last 2 days in Torino for a succession of workshops and conferences, and have used my spare time to revisit some of the places that here we had planned to install the expertbase during the big torino biennial back in 2002 (before we were kicked out of the exhibition). Seems that those parts of the city that we were working in have remained relatively unchanged by the construction madness caused by the 2008 winter games. However it appears that there has been a change among…

'Spain saves white negro from sure death'

Over the last couple of days there has been a disproportionate amount of attention for a albino migrant named Moszy who, back in march, arrived together with 60 other a African migrants on the Spanish island of Tenerife. Moszy, who is said to have fled his native Benin where he was frequently abducted and used in magic rituals, has requested asylum in Spain, and it appears that the spanish government is willing to grant him refugee status. Now i am all against abducting people and using them in…

Rain vs. the border (long live the rain!)

A storm washed away part of a wall designed to keep out illegal immigrants crossing into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla on Sunday and heavy rains flooded many of the city’s streets (via reuters). Update from bbc news [27/10/2008]: As many as 30 African migrants have taken advantage of flood damage to cross into the Spanish enclave of Melilla, from neighbouring Morocco. Update from typicallyspanish.com [29/10/2008]: Three Guardia Civil were injured in Melilla yesterday when a…

Imagination of desperation (4): Euro2008 has a higher purpose

Looks like even the most eventless soccer game can have a higher purpose, especially when observed from the fringes of europe: On Sunday about 20 immigrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, attacked the Beni-Enzar border crossing, armed with sticks and stones as Italy and Spain were in the final stages of the quarterfinals of the Euro 2008 football tournament. Six illegal immigrants successfully crossed the border during the violence. [from adnkronos international, emphasis mine]…

Exceptional display of compassion...

… in todays Guardian: the last two paragraphs of an article which describes the death of two Tunisian men who stowed away on a german cargo ship traveling from sfax in tunesia to ayr in scotland actually treat the two deceased as human beings (plus the entire article does not label them as ‘illegal immigrants’ even once): Scott [the Conservative(!) MSP for Ayr] said: “This is tragic news, that these two men who appear to have stowed away, lost their lives in such desperate, lonely and sad circum…

Freedom of knowledge

Was in brussels for a 3 days earlier this week (some pictures here). As i have pointed out before Brussels is one of the my favorite cities in europe. Not only because i really like the roughness of the place, but also because seemingly endless imagination of the eurocrats that are based there! On the train back to amsterdam Joeri pointed me to the foreword to the Communication from the European Commission to the spring European Council which was written by José Manuel Barroso. In this essay (ti…

Carrefours de migrants

Conni points to a photo set by the french photographer Anaïs Pachabezian showing the daily lives of sub-saharan migrants in Morocco and Mauritania. The pictures were taken in October 2007 in and near Oujda (Morocco) and on the Mauritanian coast: Plage de Cansado, Nouadhibou, Mauritanie, Novembre 2007…

Obscurity and confinement for migrants in Europe

The International Herald Tribune has an excellent article by Caroline Brothers on the spread of detention camps for foreigners that have mushroomed across the European Union (and the neighboring African and Eastern European countries). The article draws from the impressive work done my migreurop (and even links to their excellent map of migrants dentetion camps in Europe). “Detention is a very serious measure in a democratic society – governments deprive people of their liberty when they are con…