Fortress Europa

The endless waffle and panic about Brexit often seems to hide the on-going horrors of Fortress Europe.  The U.N refugee agency, UNHCR says that,  “..an unprecedented 65.6 million people (worldwide) were uprooted from their homes by conflict and persecution at the end of 2016,” and that “the rate at which solutions are being found for refugees and internally displaced people has been on a falling trend since the end of the Cold War.”  Many of these people are victims of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, as is well understood.  The destruction of Libya by NATO during it’s seven month bombing campaign in 2011 is much less  known or discussed, NATO refuses to acknowledge any civilian casualties from that 60,000 air sortie attack, which they claimed was, “The most successful NATO campaign in history”, a piece of hubris long since removed from their web site.

Fortress Europe free poster 2014

Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy are all major exporters of weapons and this is a growing trend throughout the 21stC.  Weapons sales rise, refugees rise.  Economic factors also massively impact, when the western world catches cold as in the 2008 crash the developing world gets pneumonia.

With the USA ramping up it’s armed forces in Africa, especially in Niger (one of the world’s poorest countries) we can expect more conflict and ever more refugees.  The current business-as-usual attitudes need to be challenged.

Welcome to Fukushima

This was my final piece for the MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking an it is currently half on display at the Royal West of England gallery as part of their annual open exhibition.  I say half because although I submitted it as a sculpture and wanted it shown in the whole it has been placed against a black curtain.  Still we do what we can and endure what we must.

The work references Japanese Boro coats, hand-me-downs that were patched repeatedly and passed on to succeeding generations.  In the later half of the 20thC they became collectable and examples can be found in museums and galleries, such as Sri, prices on application!  Interestingly the V & A gallery in London has a, ‘Make your own: Japanese ‘Boro’ bag‘ .pdf instruction.

There are many examples of Boro on pinterest, and some excellent information courtesy of Heddels.