Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška
Glavni trg 24
2380 Slovenj Gradec, Slovenija
The history of mankind is read as the history of setting and shifting territorial boundaries. Over the centuries, both the way borderlines have been defined and their roles, have changed. Since the end of feudal social organisation, borders have been increasingly linked to national affiliation and national identity, but today, they are primarily a means of controlling the flux of people.
As such, they represent a complex socio-political phenomenon and decisively affect the lives of individuals. In establishing the identity of an individual or a nation, the border appears as an element caught up in either, the representations of historical struggles for citizenship and cultural struggles, or in the utopias or ideas of transformation of the common democratic imperative of the world. Unexpectedly, physical borderlines and walls are being erected again nowadays, as we are witnessing both in Europe and in other parts of the world. Already the case of the European Union clearly shows the trend set by the Schengen Agreement of 1985: in exchange for a lesser control of the internal borders, control over Europe’s external borders has tightened.
In 2021 there is a 30th anniversary of independence of Slovenia. The independence was a result of political events at the beginning of 90s, the disintegration of Yugoslavia that ended in a war. The political processes at that time set new borders. Though this and similar events all over the world are in general politically celebrated the consequences of setting borders are rarely put to the front.
With the exhibition we want to address exactly these issues, that are connected to the question of loss and change of identity, question of language and minority rights, question of stateless people, separation of families, etc.
Current rise of nationalisms, xenophobia, right wing governments that seize power in many countries, failure of the universal project of human rights, seems to be emphasized through the occurrence of pandemic. The difficulty to cross the borders has become or is still a reality for many. Individual authoritarian mechanisms are re-emerging, which do not take into account the fact that the image of the world has changed precisely at the expense of the struggles of the past, and that new formulas of social policies must be found within state systems that will not delineate, separate and discriminate.