born in europe

born in europe

i watched a video at this exhibition. the subtitle was New Identities. most of the exhibit at the martin-gropius-bau was pretty interesting. an identity check stand and profiles. a photo series called the gates of europe, documenting illegal immigrants attempting to get from morocco to spain. i’m always drawn to work on couples from different cultural backgrounds so i sat down to watch this film.

i guess the security guards weren’t used to people actually sitting down to watch the whole film. one insisted on standing over my shoulder for a good 5 minutes. maybe he thought i was going to steal the headphones? the tv console out of the wall? the photo exhibit on the floor a few feet away?

the film was a bit disappointing. it didn’t seem like these couples, all living in berlin, had ever thought about these questions before. i wondered whether the security guard standing next to me had more insightful opinions on the subject. i guess the main drawback was unlike the rest of the pieces in the show it was pretty superficial and homogenous. "in europe you can just get up and go to italy! just for fun!" "everyone has the same money!" "it’s cool being an exotic foreigner" "i don’t really notice any difference between me and my german friends… until i went to the US Embassy and they treated me like shit." the last phrase was expressed through a polish accent. the third from a belgian woman. those exotic belgians.

one woman was asked whether she thought about ever moving back to japan. she looked at her partner and wrinkled her forehead. "well, no, not really. i guess if he dies before i do, i would probably think about it."

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