Yesterday in the late afternoon, it is still pretty hot. Even on the Tempelhofer field, that may indeed remain wide open after the referendum, the cyclists and joggers move extremely slowly. Everybody wants to find some shade, only there is hardly any. It fits perfectly that some reggae tunes can be heard, because a live band is playing next to a building that looks like just fallen out of the sky.
The band is called Antinational Embassy, the musicians are refugees and live in the occupied Gerhard-Hauptmann-School in Kreuzberg. And the building is not a UFO, even if it is circular and can boast a transparent roof. There are 28 doors, through which curious people may pass inside. Every single door symbolizes one of the EU states that try with pretty stringent laws to keep the outside world outside of Europa and seek to prevent immigration with their police force Frontex if ever possible.
Again and again, refugees die therefore on the high seas, every day. This reality gets into European vision only if lots of refugees make it to Lampedusa or were shot with rubber bullets by the Guardia Civil in Melilla and Ceuta, the Spanish fortresses in North Africa. It is actually clear that there are more and more refugees worldwide. War, hunger, persecution displace more people from their homes each year, and no one is leaving voluntarily and of course nobody likes to leave home. But in Europe, the subject is largely hushed, if refugees are not defending themselves against refugee camps, duty of residence and deportation like they do in Kreuzberg.
Over two years ago, the project House of 28 Doors was developed, says Katharina Koch, one of the three curators. Now the financing was on very short notice with funds from the Lottery Foundation. Thus, the house made of wood was built, and three screens and playback devices rented. On these video loops refugees speak for themselves, something really uncommon. This presentation was realized by the Movement Nurr.
In the following two weeks, every day there will be an event on the subject of refugees. The next one will take place on Monday, July 28. At 7pm Dr. Tankred Stöbe, president of Doctors Without Borders and Dr. Ulrike von Pilar, Head of Humanitarian Issues Office Berlin, will discuss on the topic of Refugee camps as a trap? The dilemma of humanitarian aid.
But what happens after these two weeks with the House of the 28 Doors, unfortunately, is not clear at all. It would be desirable, of course, that it is going on tour and is rebuilt in front of the Reichstag. However, the very short-term realization of this project prevents appropriate arrangements with other institutions or places, also there is no money for an ongoing rebuilding. It is to be hoped that there still is a possibility for the continuation of this project, which in the very best sense is pretty educational.
THE HOUSE OF 28 DOORS
Until August 10, 2014
Main entrance Oderstrasse, Berlin-Neukölln
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