rotterdam architecture biennale | ceuta
My favourite project from the Kunsthal's Visionary Power show is a concrete square in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, in Morocco. It's been called a city of refugees in the no-man’s-land between two worlds.
Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen from Brussels designed the border crossing as a neutral zone with the centre as a sort of market space where anything can happen. The Samaritans, brothels and cafes line the corridors within the border of the square.
The simplicity of the idea is striking.
It's a plan to replace the current barrier, the EU-financed triple-layered €30 million razor wire barrier between Morocco and Ceuta, the first European wall since Berlin, which is beautiful despite itself:
From Moritz Siebert's images:
"This is the official border checkpoint from the Spanish side.
as the Moroccan border inhabitants are allowed to freely cross the border to Ceuta, the checkpoint usually is very busy. people buy cheap goods ranging from chocolate to electronic devices and sell them on in an improvised market on the Moroccan side."
Attempting to pass through to the Spanish side involves confounding this:
The BBC reported the trials of crossing the border in 2004. The comments section is interesting, says a lot about the perception of immigration in general.