The idea of the statement is that people which have strong experience with (national) borders have to decide for themselves what they want to say and in which way. And that they do not have to justify themselves (again) to certain questions (such as “Why are you here?”).
The statement were all held without specifying a particular question. It was just said what do you want to say? The choice of language should also be made possible, as good as possible. Which informations the people want to share, whether they give their full name, wrong name or anonymous, whether with or without a picture, it is their choice. In the end we point out that statement are spread as much as possible and that all sorts of individuals, institutions and groups have access to it. If there are no objections then, the comments are uploaded, printed or distributed in other ways. In Refugee Report, a project that has a similar approach, all statements are anonymous (we will use a name, if the person give one in his_her statement). We have the right to publish them on the blog.
During the March for Freedom in 2014 Refugees and supporters walk by foot from Kehl up to Brussels. At this time Statements were collected to enrich the available flyers and brochures. It quickly became clear that this was an important part to show the many individuals often unheard and isolated voices. On the Internet blog, almost every day, Statements were uploaded. There were people asked who participated in the march and also people which have crossed our paths. All have or had strong and diverse experience with borders (predominantly national borders) and are thus experts of their situations.
The statements from the march can be found on the page: http://freedomnotfrontex.noblogs.org/
The situations in which the statements are taken, are very different, as well as the connection of Questioner and Respondent. Sometimes they occur in political activities or meetings, but also in everyday situations between people who do not yet know each other, but also between friends and acquaintances. Some of the people wrote it themselves, others have dictated it, and sometimes the words went through a translator.
Thought the claim is to influence as little as possible the person, who wants to say something in her choice of subjects and media forms(text, audio or other), there is of course always a smaller or larger impact. As the dynamics of the relationship between the people, which languages are spoken, what kind of attributions are experienced, what privileges and what external and self-perception people have and of course how good (or bad) are the interpersonal dealings.
The demand to “say what you want” can partially prompt surprised the person, so that there is desire for inspiration. The diversity of previous statements are briefly named, but this shouldn’t be understood as a guide. Everything is possible and the person is informed again that she or he determines what and how she or he want to say something.
As already mentioned above, the collected statements of Refugee Report on this blog will be published. Here you can find their website; http://www.refugee-report.de/
All contributions from their repertoire are linked. For the statements from the march for freedom 2014 you will find a clue at the end. Should there be later other sources, which have a very strong similar approach, we will of course also like to add them if possible.
Finally, it should be noted that we encourage to use all these statements in different ways and that they should be spread. It is of course important that they should not be drawn from the context to deform intentionally. Also no financial profit with these statements should be made. Donations for materials, if needed may be requested.
For all the statements from this blog, follow conditions are
Attribution – Non Commercial – Share Alike 4.0 International
(See also http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/)
The people are the experts of their Situation. What they say is political and important.
Whether someone wants to talk about his personal situation, or rather of the political situation in general, is her/his choice.
The experiences of persons with issues like borders or racism can often have similarities or parallels but are still all unique. This is because of the personal life experience and reality or, for example, other forms of repression and privilege and their dynamic interactions. Just the experience as refugees does not give people factual or coherent (sociological) knowledge on the topic of asylum. But still this person has (often involuntarily) a certain approach, which is refused to people without these experiences. This is why these persons are experts of their situation. Their views, experiences and judgements on topics such as asylum, migration, Europe, racism and more are important and political and generally an important contribution that often goes short. (More on this in „About Contradictions and Challenges“)
This does not mean in reverse that these statements are always unproblematic or can not be criticized or that the person is free from discriminating thoughts.
No racism, sexism, homophobia, antiziganisme, ableism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, transphobia, classism and other serious forms of discrimination are accepted. However, if a person should make such statements, we will tell her/him after or in-between the recording and say that we cannot and don’t want to publish this statement.