LATENT BORDER(S) / بطون

FILM INSTALLATION - 2019

Two-channel 16mm analog film, 9 min
8-channel audio

Tunnel structure:
8 x 2,2 x 2,2 m

Music composition and sound design by Felix Claßen
Publication design by ARC, Berlin
Text by Ali El-Darsa

Commissioned by Martin Gropius Bau for Walking through Walls, 
a group exhibition curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath.

A metaphor for present psychological and economic manifestations as they relate to issues of border segregation and political migration, Latent Border(s) examines historical overlaps between Berlin and Beirut, cities that share common divisions of East and West. Shot in 2019, the installation tackles the so-called issues of illegal migration and the micro-economies that borders have for long generated. Between 1975 and 1989, but mainly at the start of the 1980s during the Lebanese civil war, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) sold thousands of political refugees from Lebanon (of Lebanese, Palestinian and Kurdish descents) one-day entry visas and airfare to East Berlin. Within hours of landing at Schönefeld Airport on board of the GDR’s Interflug Airlines, many of the migrants crossed over to West Berlin and sought asylum through the Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears) border crossing via S-Bahn channels departing from Berlin Friedrichstraße station – a process that only took a few minutes.The historical waves of migration from Lebanon (1970s/1980s) elicit the recent history of asylum seekers to Germany (2000s) and Latent Border(s) draws a parallel between these histories of migration before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It reshifts our current point-of-views on issues of political migration and the far-right actions taken against refugees in recent years in Germany.

INSTALLATION VIEWS
Installation view "walking through walls" Gropius Bau 2019, photo courtesy of SISKA
Installation view "walking through walls" Gropius Bau 2019, photo courtesy of SIS

Installation view "walking through walls" Gropius Bau 2019, photo courtesy of SISKA
Installation view "walking through walls" Gropius Bau 2019, photo courtesy of SISKA
Installation view "walking through walls" Gropius Bau 2019, photo courtesy of SISKA





Filmstill "walking through walls" Gropius Bau 2019, photo courtesy of SISKA


Filmstill "walking through walls" Gropius Bau 2019, photo courtesy of SISKA


Filmstill "walking through walls" Gropius Bau 2019, photo courtesy of SISKA