Saturday, December 21, 2019

'your discovery was my land, my discovery is your borders'

'Freedom of Movement II' is a poster-based work by Glasgow-based Iranian artist Iman Tajik, recently displayed in the window of the new building on the corner of Borough High Street and Marshalsea Road SE1. Referencing the 1951 UN convention on refugees it proclaims 'your discovery was my land, my discovery is your borders'.  According to the artist the work explores the ‘right to travel as a human rights concept, encompassing the right of individuals to travel from place to place within the territory of a country, and to leave the country and return to it’. The bird featured, an avocet, knows no borders as it migrates between Europe, Africa and Asia.

I wonder whether the artist was aware that this building at 180 Borough High Street - which now houses Fora workspace - occupies what was until recently the site of the Overseas Visitors Records Office where 'foreign nationals' registered with the police, and that in a building on the site before that Marcus Garvey once rented a room.

The work featured in the Better Bankside 'From the other side' of exhibition displayed in local windows during October 2019.

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