Monday, December 1, 2008

Border Inquiries is a live-connected public discussion between Belgrade and Amsterdam about the new and ever-changing borders on the Balkans, as part of the "Rough Guide to Amsterdam" festival, at Dom Omladine in Belgrade, November 28 - 30, 2008.
The discussion will take place simultaneously in the spaces of De Balie and Dom Omladine, connected live via internet. The event brings together researchers, activists and engaged citizens in both cities around issues of border control, border management and migration, to discuss how these issues reflect the precarious relationship of the Balkan region to the European Union.
Borders act as filters, not simply as inclusion and exclusion mechanisms. What the border filters out or lets through is dependent on who operates the border.
A peculiarity of the Balkan condition however, is that there are so many overlapping spheres of interest and power that is deeply unclear who actually operates the border? What are the mechanisms deployed in the region to maintain and manage the borders (technological, policing, regulatory, legal, etc.)?
The aim of this gathering in two cities is to create an open forum where a first attempt is made to map the complex transnational presence of the multitude of agencies (OSCE, NATO, UNMIK, KFOR, SFOR, and various missions from the EU, USA and Russian Federation) involved in consolidating the volatile Balkan borders. The discussion could lead to a larger visualisation and mapping project.
With: writer and new media developer Florian Schneider (, filmmaker Želimir Žilnik (tbc), artist and author of "Schengen without effort" Vahida Ramujkić, artist and researcher Zoran Pantelić (new media center, art and media explorer Kristian Lukić (new media center, Milenko Srećković (FreedomFight - Zrenjanin), artist Željko Blaće (Mi2 / Jan van Eijk Academy) (tbc), artist Darko Fritz (tbc) and researcher Paul Keller ( / Knowledgeland).

De Balie produces a programme with video diaries, debates, music, films, photography, theatre, video art and graphic design in co- operation with several partners. Through art and discussion, De Balie wants to attack the existing clichés. Not the differences, but the similarities between Serbia and the Netherlands are the main focus. Both countries show cracks in their national self-image and in both countries, ‘national identity’ is currently a hotly discussed topic, as is the question of how to relate to one’s country’s past.

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