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Barriers to the free circulation of persons and human rights

"Rather than disappearing from the face of the Earth, the walls have multiplied". In 2009, the historian Tzvetan Todorov pronounced these words in a debate at the CCCB on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 2019, 30 years after that historic event, political and social walls and barriers are still a reality that undermines democracy and human rights in the world.

Helena Maleno

On the Other Side of the Wall

Journalist and human-rights defender Helena Maleno focuses on how European policies cause deaths and criminalise the defence of human rights along Spain’s southern border. The measures that the government and state institutions are taking with respect to this problem are preventing the ...

Pietro Bartolo

Lampedusa, a sea in flames

Over the last two decades, it is estimated that over twenty thousand persons have died in the attempt to reach Europe by sea, fleeing from war and misery in the Near East and in North and East Africa. Many of the thousands who survived landed on the island of Lampedusa, a fragile symbol of ...

Valeria Luiselli

In conversation with Jordi Nopca

The writer Valeria Luiselli. one of the leading voices of a generation of writers who, living between Latin America and the United States, speaks with the journalist and writer Jordi Nopca on the occasion of the publication of her last book Desierto sonoro, where she interweaves the ...

Notes about Europe

Soy Cámara online

This programme looks at the tragedy of refugees, the EEC’s shameful response to the humanitarian crisis, and other problems arising from Europe’s colonialist past. An animated infographic illustrating the importance of European colonial empires and the very recent independence of many former colonies is followed by extracts from talks at the Barcelona Debate 2017 by Mircea Cărtărescu, Srećko Horvat, Pedro Olalla and Hakan Günday, drawn together and presented by the writer Vicenç Villatoro. ...

Hakan Günday

The Cost of Fear

Hakan Günday is one of the most celebrated young novelists in today’s Turkish literary scene. His novel Daha! deals with the human trafficking in Europe and illuminates the brutal conditions of migrants trying to access the continent through Turkey.

Srećko Horvat

War or utopia

Europe is on the verge of a tectonic shift. Which are its possible futures? Will it resemble the horrors of the past? Or can a renewed utopian vision light the way forward? In this lecture, writer and political activist Srećko Horvat offers us a trip through Europe's possible futures.

I am Wall

Soy cámara online

An essay about the human tendency to occupy and divide territory, and the possibility of bringing down barriers.Technologies of enclosure serve to defend what has been conquered, to enclose the subjugated, to segregate otherness. The fence and the wall reinforce the illusions of property, belonging ...

Juan Goytisolo, Tzvetan Todorov and Monika Zgustova

The old and new walls of Europe

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 gave cause for hope that the world might thenceforth be less divided and free of totalitarianism. The politics and economies of the Eastern European countries were transformed but the event also constituted a symbolic and cultural landmark that went beyond ...