Izjava autorke / Author’s Statement

“Ovo nije Evropa o kojoj sam sanjala” [1]

Migrant[2] je politička kategorija našeg vremena, politički koncept stigmatizovan na osnovu njegove ili njene mobilnosti. Kriterijum „mobilnosti“ kao jedan od prioriteta politike Evropske unije je, međutim, primenjiv isključivo na njene građane. Kolonizatori su prisvojili pravo na slobodu kretanja i moć da definišu i ograniče kretanje kolonizovanih. Da li je evropska migracija nasleđe kolonizatorkih intervencija?
U Srbiji, mi i dalje gajimo privid da će svi migranti i izbeglice otići u Evropsku uniju. U međuvremenu, ambasador jedne države članice je suvo primetio: „Sa kolapsom Šengenskog Sporazuma, izbeglice bi mogle da ostanu u Srbiji […] koja bi postala neka vrsta ‘parkinga’ za ove ljude”. Odatle dolazi kritična potreba za jasnom nacionalnom politikom za migrante koja bi bila kompatibilna sa svim regijama i politikama zapadnog Balkana.
Strah ostavlja gomilu prostora za manipulaciju. Zašto je Evropa u panici? Iako su ovi ljudi pristigli iz nacija koje su pretrpele rat, tiraniju i promenu klime, oni prošle godine čine samo 0.027 procenta evropske populacije, “ne sme se dopustiti nastavak ovog trenda”, “tvrđava Evropa” mora zaštititi svoje granice od “navale”, “plime”, “poplave”. Dolazak migranata pruža izobilje materijala za manipulatore koji tvrde da će oni preuzeti naše slabo plaćene poslove (žrtve vs oportunisti). Svaka izbeglica i migrant su sada postali potencijalni teroristi koji se kriju u grupama migranata. Biti terorista i biti Musliman (po definiciji opresivni prema ženama), se izjednačava. Mnogi Evropljani se plaše da će priliv stranaca oslabiti njihov udobni kulturni identitet. To je nedostatak humanosti pretvoren u oružje, osmišljen da sugeriše ljudima koji se lome pod čekićem surovosti mera štednje i ekonomskog haosa da je neprijatelj tamo negde, da postoji neko “mi” koje mora da bude zaštićeno od nekog “oni”. Ali opet vitalnost savremenih država u velikoj meri potiče od energije i ideja koje su na njene obale donete talasom imigranata. Dolazak ljudi koji su se dokazali kao izdržljivi i pametni jer su uspeli da pobegnu od opresije i prežive sve smrtonosne opasnosti na putu do Evrope, moglo bi da bude šansa a ne mana, doza energije i entuzijazma koji su Evropi preko potrebni. Međutim, većina evropskih zemalja ne smatra se nacijama migranata. Ono što dve krize, migracija i terorizam, imaju zajedničko je to da su postali dominantne političke forme kroz koje države izražavaju sopstvene unutrašnje krize. Problem nije migracija nego društveno-ekonomska nejednakost. Siromaštvo i isključenost su stvari sa kojima se suočavaju ljudi iz radničke klase iz svih društvenih grupa.
Dakle, kritično pitanje (u grčkom smislu reči ‘krisis’, kao odluka) nije šta uraditi sa migrantima, nego šta uraditi sa Evropom? Da li treba da se menja, prateći zahteve i potrebe globalnih migranata, u Evropu građana a ne država, ili da se sve više utvrđuje,  obezbeđuje i nacionalizuje, odgovarajući na napade terorističkih grupa?
Volfram Ajlenberger, filozof i publicista, rekao je o izbegličkoj krizi: „2015. označava kraj centralne laži cele jedne evropske generacije. Mislim na nadu da će specifične patnje koje oblikuju i određuju milijarde života na Bliskom istoku, Aziji i Africi moći da budu držane na odstojanju u sledećim decenijama. Mislim na iluziju o Evropi kao o Rajskom vrtu bez zidova u svetu siromaštva i bede.“
Sama Evropska unija prolazi kroz krizu vrednosti, gde je ključnim principima demokratije, ljudskih prava, participacije i vladavine zakona potrebna zaštita, u isto vreme noseći se sa prijemom i integracijama miliona novih građana, od kojih mnogi beže od rata, siromaštva, nasilja i prirodnih katastrofa.
„Neiskorišćavanje potencijala državljana trećih zemalja u EU bi predstavljalo masivni gubitak resursa, kako za pojedince koji su se zabrinuli za sebe, tako i za našu ekonomiju i društvo. Postoji jasan rizik da će troškovi ne-integracije biti veći od troškova ulaganja u politike integracije. (Evropska komisija, Akcioni plan o integraciji državljana trećih zemalja 2016)
Međutim, nije ni lako ili ni moguće trenutno postići ravnotežu između suprotstavljenih osećanja saosećanja i solidarnosti, straha, ljutnje i sumnje prema onima koji stižu u naše zemlje iz dalekih svetova.
Kritičko razmišljanje, otpor i međunarodna solidarnost su fundamentalne vrednosti Evrope, koje se pozivaju na ponovno razmišljanje o našoj zajedničkoj budućnosti. Demokratija se uzima zdravo za gotovo, ali to je zapravo praksa koja treba svakodnevno da se promišlja i razvija. Ne postoji demokratija bez poštovanja neotuđivih prava pojedinaca i manjina kao što su izbeglice/migranti. Migranti moraju biti prepoznati kao kamen temeljac za praćenje i odbranu demokratskih vrednosti i ljudskih prava, inherentnih svim ljudima bez diskriminacije (bez obzira na nacionalnost, mesto stanovanja, pol, nacionalno ili etničko poreklo, boju, veru, jezik ili bilo koji drugi status). Naša prava su međusobno povezana, međuzavisna i nedeljiva.
Migracija je jedan od najosnovnijih ljudskih instinkta – da traži nove horizonte. Ako koristimo termin “kriza”, prikladno je govoriti o osnovnim evropskim vrednostima koje su u krizi i regresiji evropske vizije u suočavanju sa izbeglicama. Takozvana “izbeglička kriza” je u stvari kriza naših demokratskih društava.
Moguće je da će Evropa nastaviti sporo potonuće u “autoritarni populizam”[3],. Nejednakost će nastaviti da raste širom sveta. Ali daleko od zagrevanja obnovljenog ciklusa klasne borbe, društveni sukobi će sve više imati oblik ultra-nacionalizma, rasizma, seksizma, etničkih i verskih rivaliteta, ksenofobije, homofobije i drugih smrtonosnih strasti, za koje je Evropa mislila da su prevaziđene ujedinjenjem. Pod uslovima neoliberalnog kapitalizma, politika će postati jedva sublimiran rat. Ovo će biti klasni rat koji negira svoju prirodu – rat protiv siromašnih, rasni rat protiv manjina, rodni rat protiv žena, verski rat protiv muslimana, rat protiv ranjivih grupa.
U društvu kojim pasivno upravljaju slobodna tržišta i slobodni izbori, organizovana pohlepa uvek poražava neorganizovanu demokratiju.” (Met Taibbi, The Rolling Stone)
Iako sama umetnost možda ne menja svet, jasno je da može osnažiti one koji mogu. Umetnost može pomoći u suprotstavljanju rastućoj retorici desničarskog populizma i fašizma i njegovih sve izraženijih izraza ksenofobije, rasizma, seksizma, homofobije i netrpeljivosti. Kao ljudi koji rade u kulturi, naš je zadatak i naša dužnost da ponovo promislimo i stvaramo nove društvene odnose koji su ugroženi desničarskom populističkom vladavinom. Naša je odgovornost da budemo solidarni.
Znamo da se sloboda nikada ne dobija: osvaja se. Pravda nikada nije data: ona se iznova traži. Za oba se mora boriti i oba se moraju zaštititi, nikada ranije nisu bila tako krhka, tako blizu da nam iskliznu iz ruku, kao sada. Agresivni populizam koji vidimo danas izgleda kao potvrda ljudima koji odbijaju da ćute – i s pravom.
Ne bi trebalo da odemo ćutke.

[1] Izbeglica iz Sudana, Italija, 2016
[2] Velikim grupama ljudi koji u poslednjih par godina pristižu brodom u Grčku, Italiju i drugde. ‘Izbeglica’ ili ‘migrant’ – koje je ispravno? Izbeglice su ljudi koji beže od oružanog sukoba ili gonjenja. Migranti odlučuju da se odsele, ne samo zbog direktne pretnje gonjenjem ili smrću, već uglavnom da bi poboljšali živote time što će naći posao, ili u nekim slučajevima zbog obrazovanja, porodičnog okupljanja ili drugih razloga. Prema UNESCOu, oni su oba.
[3] Stjuart Hol, kulturni teoretičar

 

“This is not the Europe I was dreaming of” [1]

The migrant[2] is the political category of our time, a political concept implying that the person is stigmatized as a result of his/hers mobility. The criterion of the “mobility” as one of the priorities of the EU policies is, however applicable only to its own citizens. Colonizers claimed the ultimate right to freedom of movement and the power to define and restrict the movement of the colonized. Is European migration a Legacy of Colonial interventions?
In Serbia, we still wrongly think that all migrants and refugees will finally go to the EU. In the meanwhile the ambassador of one MS dryly remarked: “With the collapse of Schengen Agreement, refugees could stay in Serbia […] which would become a sort of “parking” for these people”. Hence the critical need for clear national policy towards migrants which would be compatible with all Western Balkan regions policies, and beyond.
Fears are giving abundant space for manipulation. Why does Europe panic? Although new arrivals from nations suffering war, tyranny and climate change made up just 0.027 per cent of Europe’s population last year, it “simply cannot be allowed to be continued”, “Fortress Europe” must protect its borders from the “influx”, the “tide”, the “flood”. The arrival of migrants provides abundancy of material for manipulators who claim that they will snatch our poorly paid jobs (Victims’ vs Opportunists). Every refugee and migrant has now explicitly become a potential terrorist, hiding among the crowd of migrants. Terrorism is equated with being a Muslim, by definition oppressive to women. Many Europeans fear that the influx of foreigners will weaken their comfortable cultural identity. It is weaponized inhumanity designed to convince people fracturing under hammer-blows of austerity and economic chaos that the enemy is out there, that there is an “us” that must be protected from “them”. But then again, the vitality of contemporary states largely originates from the energy and ideas that are on its shores brought once by the waves of immigrants. The influx of people, who have proven to be durable and smart as they managed to escape from repression at home and survive all the deadly dangers on the road to Europe, should be an opportunity and not a weakness, an injection of energy and enthusiasm well needed in Europe. However, most European countries do not consider themselves migrants’ nations. What the two crises of migration and terrorism both have in common is that they have become the dominant political figures through which nation-states express their own internal crises. The problem is not migration but socio-economic inequality. Poverty and exclusion are faced by working class people of all backgrounds.
Therefore, the critical question (in the Greek sense of the word ‘krisis’ as a decision) is not what is to be done with the migrants, but rather what is to be done with Europe? Should it be transformed, following demands and needs of global migrants, in a Europe of Citizens not States, or further fortified, securitized, and nationalized, responding to attacks by terrorist groups?
Wolfram Eilenberger, Philosopher and publicist, has said about refugee crisis: “year 2015 marks the end of the lie central to the lives of an entire European generation. I am referring to the furtive hope that the specific suffering shaping and determining billions of lives in the Middle East, Asia and Africa might be kept at a distance over the coming decades. I am referring to the illusion of a core Europe as an unwalled Garden of Eden in a world of poverty and misery.”
The European Union itself is going through a crisis of values, where key principles of democracy, human rights, participation and rule of law need constant defense, at the same time as having to cope with the reception and integration of millions of new citizens, many of whom are fleeing war, poverty, violence and natural disaster.
Failure to release the potential of third-country nationals in the EU would represent a massive waste of resources, both for the individuals concerned themselves and more generally for our economy and society. There is a clear risk that the cost of non-integration will turn out to be higher than the cost of investment in integration policies. EC, Action Plan on the integration of third country nationals 2016
However it is not easy or immediate to achieve a balance between the opposing sentiments of compassion and solidarity and those of fear, anger and suspicion towards those who arrive in our countries from distant worlds.
Critical thinking, resistance and international solidarity are the fundamental values of Europe, which we evoke to rethink our common future. Democracy has been taken for granted, but it is a practice that has to be considered and developed every day. There is no democracy without respect for the inalienable rights of individuals and minorities such as the refugees/migrants. Migrants have to be recognized as cornerstones in the monitoring and defense of democratic values and human rights, inherent to all human beings without discrimination (whatever nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other status). Our rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.
Migration is one of humanity’s most basic human instincts – to go in search of new horizons. If we use the term ‘crisis’, it is appropriate to speak about the fundamental European values that are in crisis and the regression of European vision in dealing with the refugees. The so-called “refugee crisis” is in fact a crisis of our democratic societies.
Europe might continue its slow descent into “authoritarian populism”[3] . Inequalities will keep growing worldwide. But far from fueling a renewed cycle of class struggles, social conflicts will increasingly take the form of ultra-nationalism, racism, sexism, ethnic and religious rivalries, xenophobia, homophobia and other deadly urges, once thought by Europeans to be purged by unification. Under conditions of neoliberal capitalism, politics will become a barely sublimated warfare. This will be a class warfare that denies its very nature — a war against the poor, a race war against minorities, a gender war against women, a religious war against Muslims, a war against the vulnerable.
In a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy” (Matt Taibbi, The Rolling Stone)
While art itself might not change the world, it’s clear that it can empower those who will.  Art can help counter the rising rhetoric of right-wing populism and fascism, and its increasingly stark expressions of xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia and unapo­logetic intolerance. As people working in culture, it is our job and our duty to reimagine and reinvent social relations threatened by right-wing populist rule. It is our responsibility to stand in solidarity.
We know that freedom is never granted: it is won. Justice is never given: it is re-demanded. Both must be fought for and protected, but both have never before been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp, as at this moment. The aggressive populism we see today seems to be a testament to people refusing to be silent — and rightly so.
We should not go silently.

[1] Refugee from Sudan, Italy, 2016
[2] So, the large numbers of people arriving in recent years by boats in Greece, Italy and elsewhere. ‘Refugee’ or ‘migrant’ – Which is right? Refugees are persons fleeing armed conflict or persecution. Migrants choose to move not because of a direct threat of persecution or death, but mainly to improve their lives by finding work, or in some cases for education, family reunion, or other reasons. According to UNESCO in fact, they happen to be both.
[3] Stuart Hall, cultural theorist