Opening: June 7, 6 pm

June 8 to August 18

Economies on the Borderline


As borderline between a South that has remained chronically underdeveloped under centuries of colonialism and a North that grew rich on this history, the Strait of Gibraltar embodies one of today’s most significant geopolitical zones. It is hard to imagine a place where the spatial compression of immense economic discrepancies and their political and historical contexts can be felt more tangibly than along this narrow stretch of sea dividing Spain and Morocco. In past years, the water here has swallowed up thousands of Africans attempting to emigrate, while conversely thousands of usually “illegal” and thus disenfranchised immigrants work on the fruit and vegetable plantations of nearby southern Spain, guaranteeing a rich supply of foodstuffs to northern consumers, and further thousands wait in informal camps in North Africa for an opportunity to cross this border. Part of the significance of this zone is that here political and law enforcement efforts to expand Fortress Europe are being conducted on the highest technological level, with countless dead bodies drifting in the Mediterranean as a consequence. At the same time, conditions here demonstrate that Europe’s food industry can apparently only be kept going on the basis of these migrant workers, “illegal” and yet tacitly acknowledged as “necessary,” and their economic exploitation. … >>