Performance and exhibition-project | Marta Lodola
19th October – 29th October 2017
OKK – Organ kritischer Kunst, Prinzenallee 29, Berlin
The long term project ACTIONS AGAINST BORDERS is a combination of research periods and performative actions aiming (with the goal) to investigate the present meaning of “borders”: as physical and psychological limit.
What does”border” mean in our contemporary society?
Which effects are increasing into our global society because of the constructions of new borders?
Existing walls and phisical borders, created by humans, are provoking the production of new invisible borders between people and nations. For this reason the presence, of any kind of borders, affects the life of every single human being, damaging both the sense of the community and the meaning of sharing within our society.

A parallel experience: Berlin / Athens
The city of Berlin has been the starting point of this project because is a place that keeps in itself the scare of the past division of Europe: The Berlin Wall. It’s a meaningful simbol of separation between humans, builded during the Cold War in 1961. At the same time the wall represents part of our global memory a society. The city of Athens, where Democracy was born, is the symbol of a precious political and social system, that recently had to face up with a huge crisis that still produces its effects on the city itself. It’s one of the most forced destination for most of the people that are leaving their countries due to war, persecution and low chances to survive. At the same time it becomes a trap where most of them get stucked and deprived of the possibility to find their desired “better future”. Each city has a unique personal approach in terms of timing and paths. After choosing the location I’ve walked each day for a specific amount of time, for a selected number of days and following a specific direction. This project is slowly mapping the city and connecting the personal experience in the public space to the esploration of thoughts within our society.
The entire audio material, recorded during the interviews, will become an audio archive open to the public audience and the background voices during the second part of the action: the performance art piece into the gallery. During this last step of the project the audience is invited to live and express its own personal experience entering a dark space, where they are invited to explore and investigate the surrounding space and my body.
This project aims to give voice to the people and to connect experiences within our society, for this reason we are glad to host lectures and presentations from other artists, researchers and activists that are currently working to create free spaces for all.


19th October 2017

h 19.00 – 22.00 Exhibition opening / Introduction to ACTIONS AGAINST BORDERS #1 BREAKING POINT by Marta Lodola

21st October 2017

h 18.00 – 19.30 “The Wrong Side Of The Fence”, talk, Simona Bonardi (IT/CH)
(presentation will be in english)

The current refugee crisis has been defined the worst since World War II. Always over history, due to their geographical position in the Mediterranean, Italy and Greece have been the destination shore of people leaving Africa and Asia to seek safety and better life conditions in Europe. In the past few years, they have been destination of thousands of asylum seekers fleeing countries plagued by war and repressive regimes, and have suffered the inadequate and intermittent response of European countries in sharing responsibility. On the other hand, there is no safe passage for civilians fleeing war-torn countries and the number of lives lost in the Mediterranean continues to rise.
Of the nationalities arriving in Greece, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan make approximately 60% of the total (UNHCR data). The voice of individuals from four countries speaks over the bridge of their different journeys, echoing what we all have in common.

h 20.00 – 21.00 “Flüchtlingsgespräche” Berlin 2016, HD, 25 Min. Screening by Nicole König und Wolfgang Thies and artist talk. (DE)

Im Laufe des Jahres 2015 kamen- für die meisten, wie es hieß, unerwartet- so viele Geflüchtete nach Deutschland wie seit dem Ende des 2. Weltkriegs nicht. Wir haben einige von ihnen getroffen, eine Reihe Interviews geführt- überwiegend im Berliner Lageso, wo sich die einzige Registrierungsstelle der Stadt befand. Die Begegnungen und Gespräche vermittelten uns eine Vorstellung vom gegenwärtigen Krieg und Terror, der existentiellen Unsicherheit zahlloser Menschen, noch im Lageso, das als zunächst letzte Station eines Fluchtwegs zeitweise wie extraterritoriales Gebiet wirkte, in dem Unrecht und Recht aufeinander stießen und Gesetz und Gewalt gleichzeitig herrschten.
Die Erzählungen vergegenwärtigten auch den Anspruch, den die Vergangenheit an uns richtet, denn
„Ist nicht in Stimmen, denen wir unser Ohr schenken, ein Echo der nun verstummten?“(1)
Dabei zeigte das Engagement der Freiwilligen, die das behördliche Versagen abzumildern suchten und welches unter dem Motto „Willkommenskultur“ gelabelt wurde, daß die BürgerInnen der sog. westlichen Demokratien noch nicht gänzlich aufs Reich der Zwecke eingeschworen sind.
Infolge des „Türkeideals“ hat sich die „Festung Europa“ nun vorerst erneut konsolidiert. Den Preis dafür, den Status quo aufrechtzuerhalten, bezahlen wir mit Zäunen, die verhindern sollen, daß „Andere“ zu uns kommen. Was aber solcher Art Ordnung ist, hat bereits Bertolt Brecht treffend bemerkt: eine Mangelerscheinung.
(1) Walter Benjamin, Über den Begriff der Geschichte, in: Sprache und Geschichte, Reclam 1992, S.142

Sunday 22nd October 2017

h 19.00 – 20.00 “The voice from Gaza” presentation by Rami Majed Balawi (Gaza Stripe)

I want to break free from the prison of silence in the isolated walls of Gaza to share the voices of my fellow Palestinians with the world. I wish to give a voice to our people, especially our children, to describe their suffering and what they face under the worst kinds of tragedies due to the blockade of Gaza and the ongoing conflicts, how innocent children have been deprived of all rights—including the right to a childhood. The simplest of those rights is the right to live in peace, yet so many children in Gaza have never known peace. I want the world to know how much my people struggle to stay alive in the face of the worst circumstances in Gaza—with electricity on for only a few hours a day, contaminated drinking water, poverty, unemployment, destroyed infrastructure, closed border crossings, and untreatable illnesses especially cancer.

I also hope to learn new things from other cultures. I have spent my time in Gaza doing the best I can to build bridges with other cultures. I have made friends via Facebook with people all over the world. I have learned of the power of communication with others outside of Gaza, and that with open, free communications between our world and others, we will bring peace and love to our world because we will be able to understand each other. I have faith that cultural variety gives us courage while it promotes and encourages us to create peace between cultures.

h 20.30 – 21.30 “Present Borders in Border-Memoryland Berlin, Contemporary in/visible b/ordering dynamics and creative border deconstruction in an urban space”.Presentation by Katinka Schlette (NL)

This research project takes place within the framework of the Master of Human Geography (with a specialization on ‘Europe: Borders, Identity and Governance’) that I attend at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
The objective is to find, comprehend and shed light on contemporary European, physical and non-physical, internal borders in urban space Berlin. Furthermore, it explores how art, artists and artistic practices could potentially contribute to deconstruct and shed light on these borders from yet another angle.
The project builds on and connects existing knowledge from the fields of border studies, urban studies, cultural studies and art geopolitics to open up the concept of the border in urban spaces and innovatively contribute to capture the changing nature of borders.

27th October 2017


in cooperation with:
OKK Organ kritischer Kunst
GAP Gathering Around Performance
CASA Contemporary Art Showcase Athens

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