Exhibition “The Border is Closed” at the Museum of African Art
Exhibition about the life and the journey of migrants and asylum seekers “The Border is Closed” was opened on September 11, 2015 at the Museum of African Art in Belgrade. Numerous guests were greeted by members of the team of authors, Group 484 and the Museum of African Art.
The exhibition was conceived through the cooperation of artists Ivana Bogićević-Leko, Snežana Skoko, Luka Knežević-Strika (Belgrade Raw Collective) and “Škart” Art Collective, the Museum of African Art (curators Ivana Vojt and Emilia Epstein) and Group 484. The works presented at the exhibition are the result of several years of work of this group of artists with beneficiaries of centres for asylum seekers in Serbia. Works of different formats were created during these visits and meetings, inspired by the stories and lives of people who had stayed in the centres and often actively participated in the creative process.
The exhibition contains “migrant maps” – illustrated stories of migrants about their life on the road; presentations on textile – pillows and blankets decorated with messages to the loved ones, their hopes and desires for the future – this segment gives special emphasis on the female side of migration; interactive application “Virtual Fences” that puts users in the position of migrants in an unknown country, as well as authentic audio tracks – stories about the experiences of asylum seekers on their way to a better life.
The exhibition also contains a unique board game called “The Border is Closed”. The game was designed by asylum seekers accommodated at the Centre for Accommodation of Asylum Seekers in Bogovađa, based on the board game “Don’t get angry”, which also encouraged the idea of the exhibition.
The purpose of the exhibition is to present the stories of these people to our society and to develop solidarity and understanding among the citizens of Serbia. We wanted to show the life stories of migrants not only as stories of innocent victims, but also as a testimony about courageous people struggling to have a dignified life.
During the exhibition we organised public tours, seminars for teachers, workshops for students and other activities. The exhibition at the Museum of African Art lasted until December 2015, and continued to exist by travelling through museums and schools in the country and the region. By now we have been on tour in Zagreb (Nova Gallery – WHW/What, how and for whom), Loznica (Jadar Museum), Belgrade Youth Centre (during the Belgrade Film Festival), and out plans are to visit Vranje and Subotica.
Please take a look at the catalogue of the exhibition
Project: Our new neighbours – strengthening capacities for understanding cultural diversity – a step further;
Our new neighbours – improvement of migration policy in Serbia and the Western Balkans; PROACTION – Protection against Discrimination of Asylum Seekers and Unaccompanied Child Migrants