Borders

The afterlives of the Yugoslav red passport

Stef Jansen
YU passport

Amongst broad layers of the populations in BiH and Serbia, I found over the years, the SFRY passport allowed people to articulate resentment of their current entrapment in terms of their own past, both remembered and misremembered. Notwithstanding its uniqueness on a global stage, they asserted an entitlement to smooth visa-free mobility like the one they had lost. The red passport allowed everyone who was old enough, regardless of how much they had actually travelled, to say that they could have.'Normal lives' in Yugoslavia, then, were not only recalled in terms of living standards, order and welfare, but also of what we could call a sense of geopolitical dignity. Here, the red passport joined forces with Tito.

During a summer dawn in 2005, our šinobus, the small local train from Subotica (in Serbia) to Szeged (in Hungary) suffered engine failure in a village just south of the new EU-funded €10m high-tech Hungarian-Serbian border post.

Europe, 'Kill Bill' Style

Iker Barbero
Europe, 'Kill Bill Style'

Within Europe there is much talk of the 'other' at both national and supranational levels. While Europe seeks to strengthen its borders, some political parties have tried to capitalise on the fears of their electorates. Recently, a European Commission video that was supposed to promote the EU enlargement (targeting domestic audiences but also those of candidate countries in Southeast Europe) has proven controversial in its depictions of otherness. Iker Barbero discusses the issue in his Oecumene blog, reposted by CITSEE

(Also available at http://www.oecumene.eu/blog/europe-kill-bill-style)

Crossing Borders: The Art of the Passport

Harry Weeks
Live and Work in Palestine

It is perhaps the ability of art to translate the singular into the plural that provides the greatest potential for art to affect change outwith its own borders. Each individual action mentioned in this text, taken out of their contexts and as isolated incidents, are simply acts of singular citizens having their passport stamped, receiving a counterfeit passport or dubiously obtaining an EU passport. Once viewed in their artistic contexts, however, they become plural, one passport being cancelled (in the case of Jarrar) becoming a symbol of the denial of citizenship in Palestine, one marriage (in the case of Ostojić) standing as an emblem highlighting the plights of innumerable citizens in a comparable position to the artist.

In our contemporary globalised world in which a complex network of multinational corporations and nations maintains hegemony, a new type of ‘Empire’ as Hardt and Negri would say, it may perhaps seem an anachronism that the 19th century construct of the nation state retains near exclusive and universal control over the flow of humans across the planet

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