The Mosaic – At the doors of new Europe

Stories mix up in my mind. Places, faces, languages, destinations, routes, points of departure compose a complex multicultural and polyglot mosaic made of the most diverse personal backgrounds. Is about this rare mix that these images aim to talk, about the life of different persons and different origins crossing their paths while crossing, at the same time, imaginary borders. But more than to the differences, this experience points to the similarities, to the intersections where these particular lives unveil their global human nature. The struggle for survival, the desire to overcome adversity and ensure the subsistence of the family, the hope of a dignified life are some of the common points where these lines merge.

The darkside of this moon is on the events leading to this odyssey. The imposed terror, the violence and the humiliations suffered by many of those persons forced to flee boosted the decision. The fatigue left by the fight against hardship, the loss of everything, forces ebbing away and an evergrowing grim scenario ironically made that venture onto open sea in an overloaded boat and bet all-in for the seashore in front seemed the only option of staying alive.

Situation is explosive in “those places”, we know it but that reality seems as far as their important historic past. Not even the biggest atrocities move our consciousness or actions anymore, our feelings and empathy are sedated, not to mention the ones of big governments, many times architecs by complicity or omission of the systematic destruction and failure of “that people”. But reality is dynamic, and if we don’t help to stop the explosions there we can not pretend to have no shrepnels arriving from everywhere. If one side of the world collapses, there is no way the rubble does not fall all over the other side.

But we are not talking about shrepnel or rubble, this is about men, women, children, elderly persons, the whole spectrum of humankind fleeing war, poverty, oppression, hunger and death. Sounds like a cliché?. The sounds of an empty stomach are not such cliché but make the same sound all around the world, just that not everywhere these sounds are silenced in the same way. But hunger and misery are not the only reasons. The intersection of asylum and safer life is wider and more intrincate than a simple road junction and is able to put together in a boat an ivorien taxi driver, a young syrian couple, a cellphone technician from Iran and a musician from Pakistan. Or maybe the taxi driver is from Irak and is as well a political activist, the technician is from Nigeria and belongs to a persecuted minority and the young syrian man is a former fighter on the rebel side now tired of the “all against all” melting pot . Again the range is vast and the combinations infite as the causes that propelled the departure.

May it be the extremism shouting louder and louder, may it be the bombs falling closer and closer, may it be the mix of both that has been rumbling for decades. But there is also the thirst of progress, the hunger of education and wider knowledge or the sensation of social and spiritual poverty and not only economic. Apart of the explosions this migration is rushed by racial discrimination, religious obscurantism, sexual segregation, political annihilation. Unfortunately many times all these factors go hand in hand.

And now, logically, like a tsunami arrive this wave made of water from different seas. It has been always coming, drop by drop at times, at times like high tide. Sometimes through Melilla, others by Lampedusa, or by every door at the same time. And it won’t stop, and will get closer as time passes and the only actions taken are to add bombs to the bombs. War, catastrophes, extremism and exclusion have deep consequences and the shadow of dark future makes run anyone. But i guess that on this side these consequences are very well known, or maybe it is necessary to recall the hundreds of thousands of spanish, german, french, british, italian inmigrants (to mention a few) that had to flee, starving and terrified, the bloody wars that scourged Europe.

So people will continue to come, is their right, and as long as the inequality prevails people will look here for bread and opportunities. Is on today’s Europe and its people, on its governments and programs, on its capacity for promoting bidirectional learning, integration and tolerance that depends tomorrow’s Europe, if there will be some validity for such thing as Europe in a future world living a global political, economic, religious and ecological conflict.

In any case at this moment there is the need of a Europe able to build more inclusion than ghettos, niether physical one hour away from Paris or London nor mental made of ethnocentrism and other fallacies. A Europe that accept its colonialist past and its interventionist present and asume the repercussions of those policies on the current panorama. A Europe of openness, responsability and solidarity that inculcates the sense of rights and duties and make them work with the example.

People will come whether we want it or not. And that situation will not change until major powers stop playing war with real lives they don’t care about on foreign ground. With each new person that crosses those very few miles from Turkey (or from Libya, from Tunisia, from Morocco) come as well fears, scars, pains and differences but also dreams, projects, knowledge and the capacity to play a decisive role on the own improvement. Multicolor Europe is a fact and believe that a continent (or at least the EU) can be closed in and be protected by meters of high fences and barbed wire is an inhumane and counterproductive self-deception, even more when today’s menaces have been raised here and are a sample of the internal defeat on building social justice. Reality for today’s Europe is anything but simple, only clear thing is that within each newly arrived person is coming as well the possible european of tomorrow, still to be decided if will be part of an even more fractured Europe or part of something that is closer to real union.