Category Archives: WhyBorders

This is a common struggle

All about this trip?

“My critical analysis”

When I arrived in Munich, Felix and Arash came to pick me and be together in the place of exhibition. We arrived and such a big shock, it was not because of the exhibition place, the artistic work of region people with bottles of irons which honestly impressed me. But it was to meet Nahid there. Nahid Akbari is 17 years old young refugee and an activist soul from Afghanistan which was an active member of YRM as well. Her journey with her family started in 2021 when the news about interviews of Turkey exploited from ministry of migration in Greece. As one of many families they started their way from Greece to Germany. This means that they passed following borders one after another.

Parwana Amiri and Nahid Akbari hugging each other. photo credit: Arash Hampay
Parwana Amiri and Nahid Akbari hugging each other. photo credit: Arash Hampay

(Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy). The hardest and the most violent border control had Croatia. “The were hitting single men close to death. They were taking their clothes, they were not even looking to pregnant women and were just beating all.”

I had many things to talk about, specially the effect of being in our activism group to become an activist herself in Bosnia’s border. “I noticed the importance of group work, was hoping to at least have one of girls there to start the movements. But then I started it myself, asked other to protest. The first time everyone was saying “are you going to let us the police beat us” but I started and asked some journalists to cover it, The next day I saw hundreds of them behind me, supporting the protest.”

The exhibition is fascinating for large size of each artists work to the food and music, Neda’s art is shinning here. We all hope yo join all the artists together soon.

I am impressed to see the Ukrainian refugees art as well, Anastasia is one of them. In a short conversation after my speech she said “Your words really gave me energy that yes we are all here.”

Anastasia, refugee from Ukraine in Germany. Talking in WHY BORDER photo exhibition in Munchen. Photo credit : Felix Bielefeld
Nahid Akbari, 17 years old artists from Afghanistan. Talking in WHY BORDERS photo exhibition. Photo credit: Felix Bielefeld.

Kseniah was talking about the deep impact of news on her psychological condition, she is mother of two children. She is deeply loud artist and so young to believe that she is mother of two children.

“Do not read or watch the news so much, you need to take care of your mental health. You are vulnerable for all what you have been through and should give some pauses to yourself. You are a mother too and the news will just manipulate your emotions and take out your strength.”

Kseniah in WHY BORDERS photo exhibition
ٌٌٌٌٌWith Kseniah in WHY BORDERS photo exhibition

Their art is so deep and loud. Many words hidden behind the colours and a clear message. I can imagine the moments they had their hearts burning for their country and compatriots, talking to the colours and brushes. The world of artists is wider than what we see as a result on the canvas.

In that time I was saying myself, “the warm attendance of people is so heartwarming, it is what I was dreaming to see one day. They do not pass by each artist’s work, but in fact they put all their attention, they read about each artists and discuss. This is a big achievement and this is how change forms. Even if the action is small, but this will prepare the people and will make my connection for wider actions.”

Parwana Amiri talking in WHY BORDERS photo exhibition. Photo credit : Felix Bielefeld
Arash Hampay talking in WHY BORDER photo exhibition, Munich. Photo credit: Felix Bielefeld.

You really need to attend if you are want to know more of refugee condition and the way art can be a protest. If I call it an open school is for the fact you can join and hear yourself, not through mass media.

We simply put you in question of “WHY BORDERS ?” if Nahid was going to arrive in Germany, why she had to pass all those hardships in Bosnia, or if Neda was going to recognised as a refugee why she had to pass three years of her life in the camps as me. If refugees from Ukraine can get permit of Germany without passing any interviews, why can’t my family?

I know the answer, but the low can not convince me. As law is to be changed, for Nahid who is afraid of Dublin and me who is exclude of the right to Freedom Of Movement.

But it is not a single side struggle anymore, We must stand before we are crushed under the oppression of politicians.

Call it protest tour!

PARWANA AMIRI with Arash Hampay and Hasham in "Why Borders" event, in Munich.
PARWANA AMIRI with Arash Hampay and Hasham in “Why Borders” event, in Munich.

Currently where I am writing is a silent home, with two big windows, green meadows outside and children playing down in the yard. My mom cooked Pilav ( traditional afghan rice with chicken inside) and its smell is still running through my mind, its taste is always crazy. All day long I feel a precious silence that wraps around my soul. This precious silence is making my soul sleep. In a life full of tensions, with a soul full of passions, this silence is meaningless, as the struggles are calling me.

In the middle of the silence, tension finds a deep and strong meaning, in the same wayfreedom finds its  its meaning from slavery. 

I waited at the station.Chiara, the only person whom I had communicated through Arash (Iraninan activist, photographer and main organizer of “Why Borders, photo exhibition” ) came to pick me from the station, with her friend “Hasham” a musician ,who seemed blind, but able to see the people around him through the tone of their sound sor their language. 

For a second I went to his world, a world full of darkness, color bleached, but is the same for many who can actually see the world, those who ignore the colors, who are self caged, are they able to see? I don’t think so..

He can be considered as one of many who can talk about goodness and badness in the way it should be analyzed, or maybe the only to whom goodness and badness has no meaning, both is gray. For Hasham, the world is made of many shades of gray, not black or white, not good or evil.

Our world has many things to see, but seeing is not enough, we need to consider, share, analyze and care. 

He is going to share pieces of music with us, and afterward I will read my poetry.

“Welcome to Bremen” Chiara says.

In one word, she is really unique, with the passion she has to the nice look she has about everything.

We went through the Cafe where Arash was sitting with a few others. Arash is here. I haven’t seen him since his hair got longer and there is some more white hair that is clear evidence of his past, a clear image of inner thoughts. 

After greetings I asked if I could visit the exhibition. “Yeah of course, that is the reason you are here.” That was a ridiculous question.”

Immediately  I want to change the name of this event, “This is a protest tour”. 

Why Borders, photo exhibition scene in Munich. C. Chiara
Why Borders, photo exhibition scene in Munich. C. Chiara

After the chat I had with Matthew Stadler, I felt more confident about this fact. 

An exhibition takes place to show, to display, but pain is neither for show nor for display, the drama behind our repressed lives  is not for sale and neither to be hand on the walls, it is to admire, to question it, to support it, to change it and if you aim to do all these, only then   can you buy it. 

This tour is clear evidence of all that is happening but “you” as non-refuges or refugees but nor under systemic violence, cannot see it. 

Mass media should be the last line of our connection.

Neda is here, her art is photos. I feel the strength behind whatever she does; the passion and patience in her life are symbols of the existence of nature, of the womb of women. 

You can find her famous photos in one of the letters I wrote from Ritsona, a story that was inspired by her creativity in feminism art and personal story. 

She is a girl full of words hidden behind a precious silence, the first girl I have ever had the honor to meet, who has  inspired her art with the rhythm of her body.

This is a school, a case of direct reflection in action.if we are not present in or at art projects, discussions and conversation, the adequate narration would have never formed 

he conversation about refugees, as all other critical conversations, would stay open and we would share in developing vocabulary to show that struggle against racism is not the entirety of the story.Such an analysis of racism would be helpful to those who are celebrating yesterday’s freedom from slavery, a victory that it is insigtful and contains historical meaning from fights of Balck slavery and is a loud claim of the West and US. 

The struggles of displaced people/ refugees against state violence and systemic descrmination, against segregation, equal rights and health care and education continues. 

We need to reimagine the concept of safety and security, which will involve the abolition of camps, walls, policing and imprisonment as we know. 

We need our voice and right to freedom of expression, and to abolish the institution of camp as the dominant mode of safety with barbed wires at the top. 

 Our struggle is to raise our voices and show our existence behind the barbed wires. 

The combination of opposite genders in challenging repression and art in activism is another spectacular part of this tour. Israr, is a young passionate boy, I would count on his long hair for the patience being his pain. 

His lens in photography is clear: it is “ the reality”. 

I am not able to take anyone’s photo, I can see their face, I am deep in feeling the feelings of others, and have rarely done it, with the full satisfaction of the person, but the way the photos are talking are enough to  silence  thousands of pains. 

The exhibition finished with my poetry performance and the wavy rhythm of Hasham’s music.  He has incredible music and his voice is clear like the water of a fountain. 

Time for questions,, “What do you mean of feminist activism of Neda’s art?”

“The way she uses the rhythm of her body, as part of loudness in expression, which is unique, is challenging and is activist, and opposes the  threats of loud and critical voices.