These last weeks my research for making a momental monument for migration involves collecting pictures on a daily basis and this morning a press release in which the EU agency Frontex (*) was mentioned (once again) made me do a search just for that word, limiting the search to high resolution pictures only. One of the first pictures that came up was on the website of the Slovenian Presidency of the EU in the year 2008 and showed a dinner that formed a part of the Ministerial Conference on the Challenges of the EU External Border Management (day 1); the caption of the happy crowd well attended by waiters did read “Dinner at Grand Hotel Toplice.” Next picture that catched my eye was the high rise office building, seat of this EU border policing organization Frontex in Warsaw (it is said that the EU had a hard time to find sufficient personnel to serve in Poland because of its lower wage level that the Western part of the EU). The emblematic pictures of what may be Saharan desert road traffic (**) and dangerous rubber boat trips on the Mediterranean were quickly found, as were the few extra elements that show a way of possible reading of the tableau in the diagonal between Frontex logo and member state special police uniforms with golden lettering symbolizing the new European ‘el dorado’.
In the middle of the green EU fortress map there is a hole: Switzerland. One day some smart migrants will dig a tunnel all the way form Africa to that hole in the EU …. to arrive directly into the bank faults containing mountains of gold safely deposited by African leaders and their cortege favoring – for over half a century now – the silent Swis banks as a place to deposit their revenues. Every year 148 milliard dollar are stolen from the continent by its leaders and civil servants and it is not just old time business à la Mobutu, there is for instance a new trade in special minerals from Rwanda and profitable deals made by depositing toxic waste in Somalia. Till this very day (money) migration from Africa has heartily been welcomed in Europe. Has that fact been a table talk topic of the ministers – last year – having their nice dinner in the Slovenian Toplice Hotel (as a less corrupt and more equal Africa may diminish the urge and need to sneak through the walls of the EU fortress and may greatly simplify the task of the Frontex agency)?
Not only the Swiss fraudulent hole has to be closed, but also the Guernsey postal box firms, the Luxembourg and Liechtenstein bypass and who knows what other financial loopholes are offered by European Fortress bank managers and the like to the African elite, who are always most welcome and just take a legal airplane for a visit or a more permanent stay, instead of an attempted illegal entry in a leaking rubber boat. Where will be the European headquarters for this new organization that will forcibly round up all those deposited African milliards and send them back to where they came from… and what would be a good catchy name for such a new agency? Or … would such honorable seizures trigger yet another financial crisis because most of our trustful banks may collapse once again without the use of these migrated African assets?
(*) European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union)
(**) The Sahara picture shown I found in the form of a kind of postal card with the text ‘Greetings from Malta” in pseudo arabic lettering on the web site of a Danish man Hans-Jørgen Gotsche, who also resides apparently part of the year in Malta; a bit more visual research made it clear that such overpacked trucks are a regular sight on the route from sub-Sahara Niger to Libya, an impressive documentation can be found on the Flickr pages of the photographer Swiatoslaw Wojtkowiak, Trucking across the Sahara. Another example is on the MSF Photo Blog that has a page with posts with the tag ‘refugeees’ with a picture of such a Sahara truck by Sven Torfinn “Niger – March 2003 150 young men loaded on a truck, on their way through the Sahara – from Sub-Saharan Africa to Libya or any other North-African country, with a final destination of Europe. Crossing the desert takes about a week.”