The European Union is part of our everyday reality. Yet, what do we actually know about the countries that belong to it? Most people do not know very much. We get a thrill out of stories from neighbouring countries. We crave them and the more dramatic the story is, the more we are held spellbound.
However, what we see in the cinemas and on television differs from life. We watch Italian game show formats, English music shows, an occasional Spanish comedy or French drama, but we still do not have a realistic view of Europe. We only have a slight idea about the diversity of and the conditions in each country. Since the conclusion of the Schengen Agreement, we have been living in a fortress. Europe's borders have been hermetically sealed against non-Europeans.
The consequences are the unfathomable dramas taking place on the edges of Europe. But who has ever really heard of them? We all know that Michael Schumacher wins Formula 1 races in an Italian car and that an AS Roma player has transferred to Spain but we do not know that people drown in the Strait of Gibraltar every day because they try to reach Europe, the fortress, in small rubber dinghys.
Neither do we know that corpses of unknown origin are found daily in the River Oder, the border between Germany and Poland. We occasionally read a headline about five hundred asylum seekers trying to storm the Eurotunnel between France and England or a story about the suffocation of fifty people in a ship's cargo container.
We know just as little about the burdens borne by those who have to guard the borders. We know nothing about the problems they take home to their families and how they cope with their experiences.
We would like to find out who the people on both sides of the border are. We would like to tell their stories, to join them in a journey to and through Europe.
Migra-X would like to tell such stories in the form of a film series and, by doing so, show those images of Europe that people normally do not see.