YOU ARE BUT YOU ARE NOT is an audio-guide on the theme of borders and hospitality. The guide is trilingual, in three chapters, and is conceived as a permanent audio track for the city of Bolzano.
YOU ARE BUT YOU ARE NOT is a project by the geographer Kolar Aparna and the artist Beatrice Catanzaro and is curated and produced by Lungomare in the context of their long-term residency 2016-2017. The script of the audio-guide is written by Elena Pugliese.
YOU ARE BUT YOU ARE NOT interconnects research on migration with cultural production, moves between reality and fiction, and is the result of participative research and work practices with the civil society, activists, researchers, representatives of NGOs and refugees from the area around Bolzano. The audio-guide follows a given route in the public space of the city of Bolzano. It starts at Bolzano train station and moves along the “margins” of the city, passing through the area of the train station to the Rosegger Park, opposite the central police station.
The listener is guided by a narrating voice, which interlaces facts with metaphors, and reflects on the shifting of boundaries and the emergence of biographies, as well as on the conditions of hosting and becoming refugee in Europe. YOU ARE BUT YOU ARE NOT aims to offer a reflective journey into "our" procedures of hospitality in Europe.
From the train station to Rosegger Park, opposite the police central station.
We recommend using headphones.
This is a version of the audio guide that can be experienced from anywhere.
We recommend using headphones.
Along with the map of the route, you can explore the conceptual cartography of the audioguide: Atlas of a territory that is but is not
THE ROUTE OF THIS AUDIO-WORK REPRESENTS a TERRITORY THAT IS here, AND YET, IS NOT here – because of the political struggles of actors and relationships involved in (refugee) hospitality that goes unseen and unacknowledged, and yet, is fundamentally transforming Europe and the world.
Each of the following “LOCATIONS” in this audio-route stand for a plea for Other imaginaries and visions of TERRITORY based on relationality rather than exceptionality.
Represents the negotiations of geographical imaginations when trajectories of people conflict in intentionalities, and yet have to speak to each other. In a worldly context of historical shifts, orientation becomes a constant process of transformation in relation to the other.
“I am in a metal container. 1.5 metres underground and 50 cm above. The wall to my back is burning my skin. So it should be the west.From the southeast comes the sound of the prayer”.
This is dedicated to acts of solidarity that emerge at train stations and border places in Europe, despite the increasing securitisation and policing of cross-border migratory movements of people. It questions the criminalisation of solidarity – the so-called “solidarity crimes”1 for which people all over Europe are being arrested – that reduces our possibilities for active citizenship and social participation. The word solidarity comes from the Latin word “solidum”, which means “coin” but was used in France in the eighteenth century to indicate the obligations you have in the community. In Roman Law, the expression “in solidum obligari” means that the debtors are individually bound for the whole debt: each of them is responsible for the debt of every other single member of the group.
1 Acts of solidarity in support of migrants and asylum seekers across Europe (providing food, accommodation, legal support, rescuing migrants stranded at sea, or taking a public stand in defence of migrants and asylum-seekers, among others) are being criminalised by EU governments.
French sociologists in the nineteenth century decided to use the word solidarity as a synonym of cohesion and social inclusion: solidarity in the sense that we have an obligation to each other. So, instead of being a legal procedure related to money, solidarity becomes a behaviour, a feeling, which refers to human bonds inside the community, and ultimately an ethos.
Confront the schizophrenic state of being in a Europe that promises “security, freedom, and justice”, in an environment of increased surveillance, regulated public space, deepening racism, rising nationalisms, and non-transparent bureaucratic structures for exercising citizenship. It also brings into question Europe’s role in the world in terms of “shared responsibility” for the conditions that produce global migratory movements (for instance, historical processes of the slave trade, economic exploitation, wars in the name of democracy, arms trade, to name a few).
Speaks to the everyday tactics of camouflage as an inevitable state of daily inhabitance by those without the ‘right’ documents required by EU states for people in Europe. It talks to their erasure from public space and their peripheral existence as a consequence of collective narcissism by white Europe.
The “native” sector is not complementary to the European sector. The two confront each other but not in the service of a higher unity. Governed by a purely Aristotelian logic, they follow the dictates of mutual exclusion. There is no conciliation possible, one of them is superfluous. The colonist’s sector is built to last, all stone and steel. It’s a sector of lights and paved roads, where the trash cans constantly overflow with strange and wonderful garbage, undreamed of leftovers. The colonist’s feet can never be glimpsed, except perhaps in the sea, but then you can never get close enough. They are protected by solid shoes in a sector where the streets are clean and smooth; without a pothole, without a stone. The colonist’s sector is a sated, sluggish sector, its belly is full of good things. The colonist’s sector is a white folks’ sector, a sector of foreigners. The colonized’s sector, or at least the “native” quarters, the shanty town, the Medina, the reservation, is a disreputable place inhabited by disreputable people. You are born anywhere, anyhow. You die anywhere, from anything. It’s a world with no space, people are piled one on top of the other, the shacks squeezed tightly together. The colonized’s sector is a famished sector, hungry for bread, meat, shoes, coal, and light. The colonized’s sector that crouches and cowers, a sector on its knees, a sector that is prostrate. It’s a sector of niggers, a sector of towelheads. The gaze that the colonized subject casts at the colonist’s sector is a look of lust, a look of envy. Dreams of possession. Every type of possession: of sitting at the colonist’s table and sleeping in his bed, preferably with his wife. The colonized man is an envious man. The colonist is aware of this as he catches the furtive glance, and constantly on his guard, realises bitterly that: “They want to take our place.” And it’s true there is not one colonized subject who at least once a day does not dream of taking the place of the colonist. (Frantz Fanon)
Is a critique to the spiralling legal processes in which refugee hospitality is embedded.
Zooms in on the first registration form (C3) that needs to be filled in by refugees for them to be welcomed to an EU state (in this case, Italy). We question the assumptions of a linear biography implied by this form, which denies a multiplicity of narratives and proofs of cultural, linguistic, and biographical experiences, while reducing the subject to an object of interrogation.
[...] the foreign is first of all foreign to the legal language in which the duty of hospitality is formulated. The right to asylum, its limits, norms, policing, etc. He has to ask for hospitality in a language which by definition is not his own, the one imposed on him by the master of the house, the host, the king, the lord, the authorities, the nation, the State, the father, etc. This personage imposes on him translation into their own language, and that’s the first act of violence.
Is an open invitation to link the present moment of migratory movements with one’s own biography. It is an inversion of the gaze from the ‘the migrant Other’ to a worldly Europe built on historical relations of migration (related to colonialism, war, trade) that inevitably intertwine and overlap stories and history in very intimate ways. It is a call to re-imagine a viable political future based on notions of inter-dependency rather than hegemony.
If the imaginary carries us from thinking about this world to thinking about the universe, we can conceive that aesthetics, by means of which we make our imaginary concrete, with the opposite intention, always brings us back from the infinities of the universe to the definable poetics of our world. This is the world from which all norms are eliminated, and also it is this world that serves as our inspiration to approach the reality of our time and our place. Thus, we go the open circle of our relayed aesthetics, our unflagging politics. We leave the matrix abyss and the immeasurable abyss for this other one in which we wander without becoming lost...