And work never stops

C.A.S.I.T.A. (Loreto Alonso, Eduardo Galvagni y Diego Del Pozo)

Installation: relief map of the Strait of Gibraltar and thermomolded working documents of some countries in the European Union. Varying measures. 2017

This work proposes an extension of the conflictive territory of the Strait of Gibraltar to a territory equally hostile to go through: the regularization of the life and the residence of immigrants in the European Union.

We present the forms to obtain work permits of five member countries, that represent the five most powerful economies of the EU (Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain), as orographic representation pieces of the geophysical space. In this way, this documents acquire the appearance of wet paper and crumpled paper.

The tiredness and the physical danger that migrants suffer does not end when they cross the border; it is renewed with every bureaucratic barrier, with every new regulation, with every kilometer, with every paper, with every government. Many times, exhaustion comes in ways that are difficult to explain, as migrants do not only face a tangible barrier, but also legal reasoning and invisible politics.

The forms are not the laws. They are, precisely, just like fences, the means by which laws take shape and perform their function; 

although, many times, these functions differ greatly from the ideals of justice and equality that underlie them, and are closer to ideological interpretations, fears and prejudice.

Work is key in these movements. One could say that it is the ultimate goal for most migrants. On the one hand, Europe is the home of money because it is the home of work. On the other hand, labor integration is the only guarantee for foreign people of extra-Community origin that they will stay in the country. Residence rights are linked to labor rights.

In the current economic system, work, the right to work and the obligation to work constitute a multi-faceted issue that is intrinsic to every possible relation. Precisely labor and ways of production have been of interest to the collective since 2005 (Ganarse la vida. El Ente Transparente…). In 2008, we had already developed the project ‘No es crisis, es crónico’ (It is not a crisis, it is a chronic issue), in which we addressed the scope of the so called economic crisis, that we experienced as a change in the living conditions and in the expectations of our working, personal and community experiences.

The view of the strait that we propose is broaden into this perspective. Boarders mustn’t be signaled with lines on a map, but with the lines to be filled in these forms that many times are impossible and unfeasible. Still, we hopefully comply with them to be able to stay, while states completely regulate their openings.

English Translation by Abril Herrada Galvagni