Some thoughts while working in my sketchbook… Nanda Raemansky

Borderpassage with ‘ironcurtain’ at Belgium Middelburg. In the middle of the Shengenzone. How easily everything can be put upside down. I haven’t seen any border control in this area since the mid 80’s, when I was like 5 or something, untill now.

Borderpassage with ‘ironcurtain’ at Belgium Middelburg.

Then, somewhere in the beginning of the 90’s, the customs offices disappeared as well. It was still evident that Belgium and Holland are two distinct countries, due to the diffent currencies.

Detail of a boundery marker with roadblock

But than in 2002, that also disappeared with the eurozone. By today I had almost forgotten that, in fact, I am an immigrant.

A borderpassage with a symbolic roadblock at Sint-Laureins (BE). People are simply driving over the pile of sand in the back.

How stikingly that fact re-appeared to me in only a matter of weeks. That makes me wonder, about how certain we can really be, about relying on the stability of the Europian Union?

Everytime there is trouble at the horizon, countries are rigidly crawling back behind there borders. Pulling up ‘ironcurtains’ to ‘keep the thread out’. Pointing at each other, about what the other did wrong and how this justifies their everything, but a unified response to the situation.

An assembly of my passport and some ‘souvenirs’ I gathered from the lockdown. All of Belgian origin.

What does that mean for me as a migrant, whom lives just across the border of my homeland? If this trend of turning against each other at the first sign of trouble does not change, could this have consequence for my freedoms or rights?

Detail of the ‘ironcurtain’ running through my village in Eede (NL)

I hope not and I hope my worries are premature, but there is no denial in the fact that, at this moment, in the middle of the Shengenzone, there is an ‘ironcurtain’ running through the middle of my village, standing between me and my homeland.

Raemansky © 2020

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