About the project
Free movement is one of the principles of the EU and crossing borders freely is something most EU citizens today take for granted. But hard borders have been a reality in Europe until very recently and they had strongly shaped the lives of Europeans. With our project we would like to remind citizens of this fact and show, through stories and fates of inhabitants of a border region, how European integration has changed regions, lives and world views.
We will look closely at a border stretch between Slovenia and Austria, which has changed dramatically in the last 100 years. This border was first created with the Treaty of St. Germain and cut through people’s families, properties and livelihoods. Although mostly invisible it became a kind of overarching landmark itself – a chasm, dividing and separating people. Only from 2004 both regions began to grow together again and, very slowly, this chasm is closing. We will use this border, which lies along a popular wine road, as an open air gallery to showcase historical developments and fates of inhabitants and to inspire reflection of the benefits of the Union.
We will examine this concrete border in order to learn more about borders in general. The importance and urgency of this topic is obvious, as we are faced with new ideas of borders, where they have disappeared only recently. Numerous activities (exhibitions, workshops, podium discussions etc.) will involve all generations and promote intercultural and intergenerational solidarity.
"OFF THE MARGINS" in ZAGREB
The exhibition was on display at the Zvonimir gallery in Zagreb and was part of the Organ Vida festival. The festival is one of the biggest photography festivals in the region and every year it attracts a lot of people from abroad. It features exhibitions by famaous and up and coming photographers.
"NIEMANSLAND" exhibition in MARIBOR
The exhibition Niemandsland (No mans land) focuses on the physical borders caused by the treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Kaindl photographed the landscapes which were cut through borders and people who have lived on these borders their whole lives. Through the exhibition Kaindl portraits the border regions as spaces which still have not found their way back to normality and at the same time feel as though they are not completely part of their own country.
Open air exhibition “History of a border” on the Slovenian – Austrian border
The open air exhibition “From St. Germain to EU – history of a border” presents events from the last 100 years on the Slovenian – Austrian border. It focuses on the fates of the people who shaped and were shaped by the “invisible line on the map”.
The exhibition took place at a time when border-crossing were again restricted due to the Corona pandemic. Hence, we situated the exhibition directly on the border line, between two boundary markers and made it accessible to citizens from both countries.
NEWSREEL 65 - "We Have too Much Things in Heart..."
In the proximity of Croatia, Italy, and Slovenia, there is a small place that is the site of unimaginable human suffering. It is a place of numerous attempts and failures. An area marked by inexhaustible patience and small expectations.
A place separated from the European Union by forests and hills – forests, hills, and rivers that migrants cross with unimaginable effort.
They call it the forest of darkness. It is a forest in which “to be seen” can be fatal and “remaining invisible” can mean a slight chance. The journey through the forest on the EU border takes between ten and fifteen days. The refugees call it a Game – an exercise in hiding from the gaze of others.
The Newsreel 65 project provides a broken insight into this place, marked by the daily attempts and failures of the refugees trying to cross the border of the European Union, and into the solidarity of the local community.
Watch it here: Newsreel 65
The series of video fragments is accompanied by a booklet – Newsreel Shreds, with contributions by:
Tara Najd Ahmadi, Andreja Hribernik, Jošt Franko, Ciril Oberstar, and Andrej Šprah.
Pupils research the border
Pupils from two schools on the border, one from Zg. Kungota in Slovenia and the other from Gamlitz in Austria were invited by their teachers to research the history of their region through conversations with their families and members of the community. Pupils photographed, draw and interviewed and documented their impressions.