And then, out of the blue, borders open – Nanda Raemansky

Borderpassage at the Rijksweg (NL)/ Aardenburg Kalseide (BE) whilst the border was closed.

Sunday 31 may – My neighbour asks me if I had been to Belgium yet. Belgium?? But didn’t they say the border isn’t going to be open untill at least the 8th of june? Instead, without any warning, the Belgian government decided that the borders are once again open from saturdayafternoon.

Borderpassage at the Damsevaart(NL) during the lockdown. Charcoal on paper 21 x 15 cm.

Monday june 1st- I go to Belgium for the first time. Together with my cousin Frankie. We went to the nightshop. It felt so good to finally be able to go to Belgium again. FREEDOM 🙂

Borderpassage at the Rijksweg (NL)/ Aardenburg Kalseide (BE) monday june 1th 2020

Tuesday june 2nd- I read in the newspaper PZC: “It felt like liberation day”some lady from Sluis (NL) says.

Open border at the Scheidingstraat two days before the lockdown.

Wednesday june 3th- I went to get groceries in Belgium on my bicycle, for the first time since the borders are open. My heart made a little jump of joy when I crossed the border. Once in the shop, my joy was quick temperred at the sight of a most people wearing mouth masks. Borders open, but the COVID-19 pandemic is still around us.

Closed border at the Scheidingstraat during lockdown, untill tuesday, june 2nd.

Now that everything is gone, are people gonna forget how rapidly everything can change? Our freedom and the lives that we are used to live?

How fragile is Shengen? How vunarable is the European Union? Do people realise how valuable this union really is? A lot of people feel like Europe failed with grandeur at being united during this pandemic. And I feel like the story of failing to unite, has not been finished yet.

Raemansky 2020 ©

  1. Eliane Velozo

    This is a day to have a glass os wine!
    Congratulations. Your work is great.

    1. Nanda Raemansky

      Absolutely, cheers Eliane!

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    Anastasia Patsey

    I will join the celebration with a cup of coffee 🙂
    That’s great news, Nanda! Always an interesting moment when you see a regular route/activity as something special after a long break.

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      Nazdrowia Anastasia, to freedom! It felt absolutely magical to me to be able to go to Belgium again. When something like an open border becomes seemingly natural, it is hard to imagine how important such a freedom really is, untill it is gone.

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