Deportation is the forced removal of ‘unwanted foreigners’ from the territory of a state. Every year, hundreds of thousands of rejected asylum seekers, and irregular and undocumented migrants are removed by force from the country they migrated to, and returned to their country of origin against their will.
Many will migrate again, making up a so-called global deportspora – a diaspora whose migration cycle will no be stopped by deportation. The public is told very little about how deportations are actually carried out, what fate awaits deportees after their forced return, what it is like to live with the immanent threat of deportation, and what makes people migrate again despite the prospect of being deported once more.
CAMP has invited the artists Ghazel (Iran/France) and Daniela Ortiz (Peru/Spain), and the artist run media lab Studio Revolt (Cambodia, USA, Japan) to engage these questions in the center’s new exhibition Deportation Regime: Artistic responses to state practices and lived experience of forced removal. They belong to a growing number of artists, whose artistic examinations of what it means to be an (im)migrant or exiled other, have led them to make work about deportation practices, experiences, and resistance.
Deportation Regime presents three commissioned installations and live performances on the opening night and during the exhibition period that help us understand the logic behind deportation.
Ghazel contributes with her WANTED (Urgent) Project (1997-), a series of b/w posters in which a Middle-Eastern woman is advertising for a (non-racist) husband with an EU passport to escape deportation. Through the lens of personal biography and absurdist humor, the work addresses how women adapt to the pressures of life in diaspora and the immanent threat of forced removal.
In her video installation FDTD (Forcible Drugging To Deport) (2012/2016), Daniela Ortiz examines the widespread practice of drugging deportees during forced removal. In the video, the artist is injected the same drug that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement gives to deportees to prevent them from resisting, while she reads aloud U.S. deportation reports.
Lastly, Studio Revolt tells in their new video installation Take A Seat (2016) the untold stories of different Asian Americans, who have been deported by the U.S. government and ordered into exile in countries of origin unfamiliar to them. Audiences gradually understand how deportations create more traumas within an already scarred refugee community by severing relationships and breaking up families.
Performances & Events
For the opening event on September 9, Daniela Ortiz presents her brand new performance Jus Sanguinis. During the performance, the artist who is a pregnant Peruvian immigrant in Spain will get a blood transfusion from a Spanish citizen to question the legal principle ‘Jus Sanguinis’ (‘right of blood’) that gives citizenship to children born in EU territory only if the parents have citizenship and not according to place of birth.
In addition, Deportation Regime presents the event “Deportspora: When deportation becomes a way of life” on October 29 from 2–5 pm. The event unpacks key aspects of the deportspora concept, featuring:
- a talk by anthropologist Shahram Khosravi about post-deportation outcomes for deported Afghan asylum seekers from Sweden
- a performance by Ghazel inspired by undocumented migrants ‘in transit’ in Paris
- an artist presentation by Daniela Ortiz discussing the migration control systems Jus Soli (birthplace citizenship) and Jus Sanguinis (bloodline citizenship)
- the spoken word performance Verses in Exile by Kosal Khiev (poet, tattoo artist, artist-in-residence with Studio Revolt, USA/Cambodia) about prison incarceration and forced deportation
Education & Practical Info
Deportation Regime runs from September 9 – December 16, 2016, and is accompanied by a free online exhibition catalog available in English or Danish with contributor bios, work/project descriptions, an essay on the deportation regime by Associate Professor Julia Suárez-Krabbe, and an essay on detention and deportation by anthropologist Shahram Khosravi.
CAMP also offers weekly guided tours on Saturdays from 3–4 pm by a team of guides from CAMP and the Trampoline House refugee community.
Deportation Regime is curated by CAMP’s directors, Frederikke Hansen and Tone Olaf Nielsen, and is supported by: Images 2016 / Foreningen Roskilde Festival / City of Copenhagen: The Culture and Leisure Committee / The Danish Arts Council / Knud Højgaards Fond / Private donors.
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