Individuals need a wake-up call!

In April in Novi Sad, VCV Serbia organized a Living Library event called ''Closing borders'', which focused on the topic of refugees and migration. This event gathered volunteers and members of NGOs that are currently working on the field in Belgrade, Subotica and Šid, in order to help the ones that are stuck between Serbian state borders, and whose fate is becoming more uncertain as the days pass by.


After this event we talked with Marina, one of the organizers of the “Closing Borders” Living Library. She is very willing to help out to raise awareness about what is actually happening within the places refugees are now placed in Serbia, but also in Europe.


She is also planning to organize raising awareness events during the summer related to the current situation with the people seeking refuge who are still in Serbia. Through various ways and audio-visual materials, Marina wants to tell people more about the struggles and concerns of those people.




Q: How did you came up with the idea to organize a “Closing borders” Living Library? 


A: After shortly visiting the unofficial camps in Subotica, as well as the barracks in Belgrade, and getting info from the Sid and Romanian border, I realized how poorly involved locals in the area are and how little space there to critically analyze the refugee crisis in Serbia, and its impacts on the local community.


This crisis not only gathers thousands of people that are escaping from extremely violent scenarios, forcing them through a long and traumatic journey, but is also attracting a large amount of international volunteers that are in constant action to supply the basic aid that this critical migration requires.


I started wondering if the stories about Sid were true, if people in Subotica even consider to inform themselves on how to help out, or how the media is treating and dealing with this situation towards the Serbian community.


Thankfully, in Serbia there are several organizations that are also willing to bring these topics on the table to trigger some critical thoughts, and by contacting VCV and BINS here in Novi Sad, I started planning how to create an event that could attract locals and let them safely interact with the pure reality and its manipulated result.





Q: Do you plan to organize similar actions in the future? What do you think is the goal of making this kind of events?


A: Well, now that the sun is shining I am willing to take it to the streets, and repeat a similar dynamic in the park with outdoor projections to claim the attention of the people passing by. The goal is just to take a break, enjoy good company, and give ourselves some time to release thoughts and shape them into active conclusions for further action and awareness.





Q: You are in Serbia for quite a while now, and you are originally from Spain. How do you observe this situation regarding this influx of refugees in Europe? Can you compare the situation, for example, in Spain, and in Serbia?


A: Spain has been the pilot model for Hungary when it comes to border policies, as our central government is constantly struggling on how to stop the influx of people that are crossing Gibraltar or Ceuta y Melilla (two Spanish cities in North Morroco); and considered as an example for the safety of EU!


Therefore, what I am seeing in the Hungarian border (and Macedonian, and Croatian, and Slovenian...) is just a copied reaction of previous financed blocking actions in south Europe, and it is just escalating more and more the lack of protection of human rights and needs; speeding up the deportation processes (if considering on following them), promoting violent treatment in the border (as in Spain, where there have been shootings against people trying to cross swimming or over the fences.


The situation is inhuman, and is not only skipping human rights for those who are looking for a more stable and safe life, but is also neglecting the need for integrating them into their realistic society at the moment (Serbian), and to those locals who are poorly understanding what is the effect going to be in the upcoming times.





Q: What should be changed in order to make this current situation better for people seeking refuge?


A: My view of change is very dramatically pessimist. I honestly think that the only way for this situation to change is through human collapse (may it be intellectual, moral, or survival).


On a more optimistic level, I think that this can be changed through our education and this shouldn’t only target our youth and children, but to keep up updating our moral statements while being adults, as it is more than proven that living beings are constantly dynamic and changing (how many species, for example, are actually permanently staying at the same spot, when they have the capacity to move and transport?).


This is why I am willing to keep up with the Living Library and other events, to spread the wake-up call so needed by individuals, to be open to let more information in.





Q: Last, but not least - your hopes and dreams for the future? :)


A: To live in a society that is critical towards itself, that is constantly looking for challenging factors of it and trying to collectively integrate them into a major bubble, a bubble that defends beings and their rights for being alive.


The way I see it, it is just coincidental that we are alive right now, or we are having this interview, it's not defining me or you as an over-righted being compared to another.



Interviewer: Sonja Bara? (VCV Serbia)

Guest: Marina Tarrús

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