TUR – SYR: 899km – An der Grenze zum Krieg – exhibition & event


Since 2011 more than 250,000 Syrians have lost their lives in an armed conflict, which began as another so called “Arab Spring” uprising against an autocratic ruler and then escalated into a brutal proxy war that has drawn regional and world powers.

More than 4.5 million people have fled Syria since the start of the conflict, most of them women and children, that has triggered the world’s largest humanitarian crisis since World War II and unveiled a paradox for the European Union that has spent decades preaching its solidarity with migrants flowing from neighboring countries and its battle to hold human rights that should prevail over any kind of economical interest…

Few years have past since we started to get familiar with people fleeing from Syria and images of drowned bodies at the mediterranean coasts.

But what is behind all these Numbers?

“18591km: 899km / SYR – TUR: An der Grenze zum Krieg (at the border to War)” brings us one step closer to the experiences and stories of those forced to flee, forced to combat, forced to join ISIS in an attempt to survive, forced to become orphans, widows, homeless, hopeless wanders, terror suspects, a thread to EU security & welfare…Furthermore, to the stories of the smugglers who get paid to assist people to seek sanctuary in EU…and to the politicians turn blind eyed…

This journey will be made possible thanks to the images captured by courageous photographers from Syria, Turkey and Germany; live music performed by talented Syrian musicians and their stories.

We invite you to stop being blind because being blind is to stay in your safe-zone and to begin to see is to become vulnerable. Like an earthquake that shakes strongly, arising the truth. Seeing is hard, it hurts. Who dares to face the unknown? Those willing to forge ” the other” and place new ideas in confrontation with the old and breaking the barriers of accepted ways of doing things.


18591km e.V. organizes a photographic event with discussion rounds, live-music and soliparty at Panke Culture e. V.


Saturday, December 3rd 2016

6 pm – 12 pm



Gerichtstraße 23

13347 Berlin, Germany




“CETA, TISA & TTIP … the solution to all problems “

EU Commision says:
About CETA:
“Europe currently faces big challenges, like:
– kick-starting our own economy
– responding to conflicts close to our borders
– adapting to other, emerging economies outside Europe
– maintaining our influence in the wider world.”

About TTIP:
“… benefit people in Europe, the US – and the rest of the world, too.”

Overcoming borders, increasing intellectual und cultural exchange.

Such great thoughts, such great objectives, such great ethics.

But, how could 18591km e.V. stand against these Trade Agreements then?

It is easy to use the words these arguments. They all sound wonderful.

But if you look at the history of trade Agreements, NAFTA or FTAA for
example, it has created great benefits for few, lots of trouble for
many. And … the US – Mexican barrier and Wall where created after the
NAFTA was executed.

And why; if it such a great project so many citizens are against it,
with so many contradicting standards in different countries it has to be
pushed so fast and secretive?

There are many reasons to be against these Trade Agreements or at least
skeptical, just to name a first one, this agreement will not benefit US nor European citizens as it states, but just big Coorporations, as it is an alliance to ease commercialization. And it would enhance exclusion, a wider gap with the countries outside this agreement, as it would make them less market competitive reducing drastically their market share, which reminds to the mechanisms of a monopolized market and would lead into the creation of a new invisible wall between rich and poor countries, between rich and poor societies.

More articles will follow here explaining why we stand against CETA, TISA & TTIP.




The reduction of the refugee solidarity movement to just another trend

The reduction of the refugee solidarity movement to just another trend

Year 2011, while the effect of the Egyptian arab spring seemed to get rapidly contagious over another Northern African countries, ousting dictatorial regimes after decades of unbroken rule; a resistance movement against El-Assad government rose up in Syria. But in contrast to what happened in some neighbour countries and certainly because of its strategically geographical location, its reserves of crude oil and gas – which makes it the largest reserve in the eastern Mediterranean – and being an alawite regime, changed completely the course of a revolt , that months later turned into a war with too many international players.
As a result of the conflict hundred of thousands of Syrians got displaced, left their country and took direction to Europe. Just at the beginning of the spring of 2015, the alarming number of lifes killed during the flee started to get presence at the media. No special emergency rescue programm was approved, neither discussed at the European Parlament to be carried out by Frontex (European Border and Coast Guard). Images of drowned bodies at the Mediterranean coasts became something routinary. Italy and Greece were the preferred arrival countries, but not final destinations due to the poor economic conditions. Germany became then the main receptor of Syrian refugees, playing its role as moral leader during the crisis.


But how much morality has been in the end?


The migration flow happened to turn into the so known ”refugee crisis“. Needless to say that it was not the first time for Germany in its recent History; in the 80s during the Lebanon-Israeli war, and in the 90s during the war in Yugoslavia. The discussions at the European Parlament got replicated at social media platforms, starting a debate and dividing society in detractors and supporters.

The detractors, transforming the issue into a nationalistic discourse, turning the victims into criminals, who represent a thread to our culture and living standards, resulting in a more fragmented Europe.

The supporters, speaking out for the rights of the refugees, organising demonstrations and colourful events covered by the press. At the time everyone seemed to want to get involved in initiatives for refugees, the issue just become a social media trending topic. There must be the ones who believe that there is a correlative connection between human kindness and the quantity of likes and posts including the hashtag #refugee welcome or #solidarity with refugees.
Merkel’s Government faced a vast opposition at the European Parlament because of the handling of the refugee crisis while her popularity and the share on vote intention for the next election drastically sank. Alarming measurements came in force therefore. The closure of the balkan route and an European- Turkish agreement that costs Europe $ 6,7 Billion and political concessions to Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Sure, the deal has begun to produce results, observing a sharp reduction of the migration flows .
But at which cost?
The deal unveiled a paradox for the European Union that has spent decades preaching its solidarity with migrants flowing from neighbouring countries and its battle to hold human rights that should prevail over any kind of economical interest…But confining Syrians in refugee camps in Turkey not allowing them to continue their route to Europe does not seem to have anything to do with Freedom and therefore no with Human Rights.
One year is gone since we started to get familiar with people fleeing from Syria.


One year documented, traced and registered in social media. If we would consider just the parameters used by social media managers to evaluate social behaviour and its response to the refugee emergency since last year, we could conclude that it just became another trending topic, and as such, it got inspired, discovered, mainstreamed and unfortunately it faded away at the end…
The Syrian war and related refugee crisis topics were the third most discussed topic on Facebook at the end of 2015. In September 2016, Pokemon Go, I Phone 7 and 9/11 conspiracy theories are leading social media…no place for Solidarity with refugees…no discussion any longer at the European Parlament…no dramatic images of refugees locked behind the European fences…no presence at the news…no relevant for social media platforms…Thousand of mouths have been silenced…a new wall has been erected… and the HELP is still needed…But refugees are not longer trending topic…however SOLIDARITY does not know anything about trends.



By Smriti





3. September –

Morgen ist es soweit, das „Schön, dass ihr da seid – Willkommensfest 2016“ findet wieder auf dem Tempelhoferfeld statt. Ihr seid alle herzlich eingeladen. Von 12 – 20 Uhr.

18591km e.V. veranstaltet eine Reihe von Workshops: Yoga, Spiele, Teather/Storytelling von 12-17 Uhr in der ‘Zusammenkunft-Ecke’.

Eingang über : Herrfurthstrasse / Oderstrasse – Ubahnhof Boddinstrasse

Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/fXofaDyVWt42

Für mehr infos einfach eine email an 18591km@gmx.de oder unter Tel.: 01772706518

Wir freuen uns auf Euch.


An Insight into the Artists featuring at 18591km Art Exhibition


Does a wall always have to be physical? or are they actually just the materialization of ideas of any kind of nature: political, economic, cultural, moral…giving shape to our lives and our relations, creating prejudices and fears, molding our opinion as a result of a single sided reporting?
These questions have driven 18591km to come together with a group of artists with different backgrounds, who in many multiple ways, based on their own experience, have thought through these realities and created their artworks, which will be featured at the 18591km Art Exhibition.

But who are the faces behind? and what motivated them to take an active part in this project?
With: Nicolas Baernreuther & Arystan Petzold, Nathalie mpJohann, Vicente Expósito, Ece Gauer, Salym Fayad, Mahdieh Shadmehr, Ira Mowen, Roland-Tim Heinbrok, Catherine Duquette, Javier Blanco, Anders Bigum, Carolina Cristòfol, Rafael Gil, Koray Arman & Cem Dildar, Maria Nitulescu, Lapo Simeoni, Nuno Marcelino, Tarik Mesli, Guillaume Tissier, D.S. León, Bin-Han To, AWK
With the collaboration of: Gemma Parellada, Pablo Guerrero Alberola, Safy „Sniper“, Elisa Martell and Pablo Woizinski.


„The Walls in our mind“ – Installation
tumblr_nyksj6SqZ71rpief9o2_1280Nicolas Bärnreuther  & Arystan Petzold

“The appearance of things depends on the crystal we observe them through.The true nature of things can only be (partly) grasped through observation plus experience”

“feelings are just the human part, which also makes it accessible, and can be not only a physical baying of vibrations”



„Le Mur“ – Video installation


Nathalie mpJohann

“How the energy move and transform and how through an emotional and physical feeling, perception of space /time can change the consciousness”.

“I loved that concept because there was no frame , no walls , no territory just the pure catharsis of energy”.





Vicente Expósito

“Making History repeated itself and allowing self-isolation is not a good way to solve the problems and differences. “




„Woman in red & Walls of censor“



Ece Gauer


“Walls has been voice of being against authoritarianism of the government, violation of democratic rights, media censorship and disinformation, government’s involvement in the Syrian Civil War, use of excessive force by police…In my work, I’ll try to make a point about the censorship on the mural art and graffities”.





„Metropolitan Nomads: A Journey through Joburg´s Little Mogadishu“



Salym Fayad

“The lives of hundreds of Somalis intersect in the Johannesburg suburb of Mayfair. Mayfair presents itself as a space where collective stories of migration and survival interweave with individual desires and hopes of seeking a better life outside a country shattered by decades of internal conflict”.



„The Wall of Iran“


Mahdieh Shadmehrthe wall of iran


“In Iran when you stand on the top of the colourless and dusty wall of sanction you will see small people who are passing the wall, jumping from it or become dry and colourless under the wall’s shadow. Just like a rock they have recorded a part of life’s perspective and geographic position, while this wall is just made of dust with pure fanaticism. A material that no one has the courage to break through”.



„One cigarette“


Wall Project Ira Mowen 1 ira mowen

Ira Mowen

The first is a video Mowen made in September 2007 featuring a bird’s eye view of the Berlin Wall shot entirely by a camera suspended from helium balloons, only directed by wind. The second is an impromptu audio recording Mowen did, with vocal artist Joe Wiesenburger, about his life growing up along the wall in West Berlin.

“The goal was to compliment the free spirited nature of the uncontrolled aerial footage with an equally spontaneous narrative describing one perspective of life behind the wall. Both recordings were done in one take and were unscripted”.



„The Media Wall“



Roland-Tim Heienbrok

“The walls are not really the problem, but rather the physical manifestation of something that started much earlier and less visible. It all start in the head.

 The opinion and judgement people have about other countries, societies, social classes and so forth are in most cases not created through personal experiences but just a result of poor and misleading information created through media”.


„The Climb“



Catherine Duquette

“The Climb investigates the notion of “climbing to the top” and what we’re willing to do to get there. The top is different for everyone – political, economic, ideological, emotional, social, or cultural. But the struggle is just the same – full of fear, frustration, anxiety and no longer knowing how to place oneself in space. We create both imaginary and real walls to organize this chaos – to define space and shape identity”.


„Je m´appelle Abou“


12311235_926859667400875_2693077246057028765_nJavier Blanco

“Metaphor Suitcase: Tourism or Migration. This story reflects the difference between these realities confronted, 1st and 3rd world, rich and poor, tourism and migration. Consumption and life experience. It is significant that the suitcase that serves the tourist to consume travelling, can´t be used here for an experience that might change the life of someone forced to depart, without any hope to return, to embrace an uncertain future, wishing to be different, a better path”.



Anders Bigum

“The inability to understand the positive impact of the differences; that contrast creates the whole. Without blacks and whites the picture will fade into a dull meaningless blur”.





Carolina Cristòfol


“Dreams: an invitation to go through the fog of noise into clarity, seeing and revealing”.








„Topographies of Wall & Suite Berlinesa“

Rafael GilRafael_Gil_Lithography.jpg


“My work also represents a desire to show that even today, across our planet, walls are being constructed as barriers. They are a rejection of what we should expect in the new century: coexistence and understanding between men.”.






„Trees are stronger than walls“

Koray Arman & Cem Dildar

“Our aim is just to show that the nature is a common value of all human-beings and the existence of the trees together with our love to the nature can stop overbuilding of the cities, stop the isolation of the different cultures, racism, fascism, violent capitalism and even the wars.



„Reflective Memory – Cultural Reflective Distance“

Maria Nitulescu


“I construct my memories with my present. I am lost, abandoned in the present. I try in vain to rejoin the past: I cannot escape. Jean-Paul Sartre”.





Lapo Simeoni

“The precariousness caused by European capitalism, which renders places of peace and hospitality to only be shared for economic benefits. I therefore created a symbol that also serves as a temporary remedy for this unstable time.




„175Km: Where EU geographically begins but morally ends“

Nuno Marcelino



“175km is a photo reportage of 2 days along the Hungarian border with Serbia, showing the daily life of the surroundings of the new wall and the portrait of the refugees who needed to cross the wall created to block them.




„PIECE Nº 42: We are not birds““

Tarik Mesli

“My work aims to be a visual search of a new relationship to the other in a world where one is locked, and locks oneself, into a system that pits the included against the excluded, north against south, the one who speaks against the one who can’t”



“Mass Media“

Guillaume Tissier



“Mass media form mass opinions, which can be manipulated for political or economic reasons, and therefore help building walls between categories of people, religions, countries, etc”




“Labyrinth (Lost in Time)“


“I strive to provoke the audience  by creating relationships with their inner feelings and boundaries, that make us feeling lost. This labyrinth represents our invisible walls, the challenge of daring us to tear them down”.





“The art work for the exhibition simply titled “wall” is approach to walls from purely structural, aesthetical, simplified way. The installation is meant to invoke feelings and considerations of the actual building of the wall, the experience of the tangible aspects of this political and societal construct”



…and so it was…



Walls, Fears and Limits by Pablo Guerrero Alberola

18591 km is an arbitrary number. Even if we are able to relate this cypher with the length of the physical walls around the world, 18591 km would still reflect the arbitrariness of the metric system. What transcends this cypher is not the thousands of fences, walls, mines, barbed wire and watchtowers that surround us, but its darker purpose, to build 18591 km of fear.

Nothing is completely new in human History; fear was often used throughout history to appeal our desire for security. Nothing broadcasts more of a sense of protection than to build a wall, to set a limit. If anything characterizes walls, it is thus their capacity to define. Separating one from the other, the known and the unknown, walls link us and, at the same time, they pull us apart. But above all walls are physical representations of our fear of the unknown.

In the kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula during the fourteenth century the concept or term “city” was a confusing word. The cities were neither characterized by their population, nor their economic power; nor could they be defined as urban centers. What gave them their status as cities was their walls. The walls defined and dignified the city, separating their inhabitants from the outside world, and the wild hostilities. At that time there were still imaginary borders, everything outside the human being had a mystical or magical character; dragons, ogres and witches. The walls not only protected the city from invasions, they separated the civilized from the beasts, monsters, and ultimately, the unknown.

Battlements and towers not only had a defensive character, they also bestowed status on those whom were protected by their blocks; they separated the nobility against the peasants.

In the kingdom of Castile, the book of “Fuero de las Leyes”, known since the fourteenth century as the Code of the “Siete Partidas” sanctified the walls, raising them to the status of the sacred and establishing the king with the responsibility to preserve them and all their inhabitants. We can say that the medieval walls were delimiting a legal space and also a natural area, but ultimately the walls established limits but not borders.

It’s necessary to take a moment and think about these two terms. The word for “border” in Spanish is frontera and comes from the Latin words frons or frontis, which means the front of something. It is a very concrete concept that is used to refer to an area or region that is characterized by common features. But it is different from the concept of “limit,” which comes from the Latin word limes, which initially served as the name for the road around the perimeter of to a property, that later became known as fortified road.

Borders mark off the end of a territory; they represent the line that is oriented towards the outside of something, The “limit” plays a strategic role in defending the citizens and maintaining the resources of a region. In this regard, “border” has a conciliatory meaning because it marks an area of transition between countries, while the “limit” represents unique spaces where relationships cannot be develop freely. For Ancient Greeks, the Mediterranean Sea was a border that helped to establish their traditions. The great cultural exchange that happened along the Mediterranean Sea facilitated the Greeks’ worship of foreign gods. The social, economic and cultural relationships at the Mediterranean Sea understood as a border, didn´t know limits.

Over time the concept of border has gained more of a political meaning, making it more similar to the concept of limit.

History demonstrates that borders were initially established by natural boundaries: the borders were set up without human intervention. Nowadays borders have evolved into social spaces, which are created and modified by humans for their own interests. After the Thirty Years’ War and the subsequent Treaty of Westphalia, signed in 1648, the geographical borders of the current European states were largely established. This treaty brought about one of the first political spaces that merged the formerly separate meanings of border and limit. By the nineteenth century, borders were no longer determined by geographical features, the Roman Empire universality , the system of feudal vassalage, or legal allegiances to a king. Rather, borders were determined based on the idea of the nation-state and the concept of territorial sovereignty.

To create a nation-state it’s necessary to have national sovereignty, that is, the nation must have inviolable and impenetrable borders that are recognized internationally.

Thus territorial sovereignty means that a nation controls a geographic space, limiting the relationships established in it. The territorial delimitation is in any case initiated arbitrarily; rather, it is marked by a clear intention, it is a example of a modification of geographic space and politico-social space produced by humans according to their needs and interests.

The concept of territoriality arises exerting the power, control or the sovereignty over a territory . Then it is necessary to establish precise limits to establish beyond doubt what land rightfully belongs to the State-Nation. In that way the borders, which represent places of interrelationship between different countries, cultures or societies turn into limits, and become uninhabited lines that have to be controlled and protected. That is how the term border, which at one time referred to zones of contact oriented to the outside have come to have the connotation of limit, which forces us to look to the interior, tying citizens to the concept of territory.

Nowadays we find an antithesis between these two concepts: border and limit. Natural space has been almost exterminated, with the imposition of an absolute social space. The technical barriers that once limited the movement of people and the communication between them have been largely surpassed. Although globalization is growing, nationalisms, regionalisms and localisms still existing. In this way, the concepts of borders and limits have been dissociated again. In our world the borders have been swept away by the mass media, the globalized economy and the free market, but the movement of the peoples is more limited than ever. The system keeps creating new barriers, border controls, and bureaucracy, appealing to the order. Seeking to ensure its own survival, the system has reused an ancient border, that of fear.

This time the fear of the unknown doesn’t manifest in the form of dragons or witches, it instead takes the form of radicalisms and religions, work stations and health expenditure, of foreign languages and different faces.

The fear strengthens the “we” and it differentiates us from the “barbarians” and “the savages” that live beyond our walls, constantly threaten our lifestyle.

When I imagine 18591 kilometres of barriers, I´m also visualising the tons of wire that help to feed the uncertainty, unvoice the questions and ensure the future imposing limits, to the History, the blood, the tradition and the culture. To fantasize the recovery of a stray purity that never existed is merely a pretext to build more limits, more walls.

The borders and limits, as we can see through history, have changed and will continue doing it. They have been built and demolished by the people. They have been modified by wars, the economy, culture, language, religion or ideology.

Hate is to blame for the barriers of this world — it feeds the xenophobia, the racism, and the exclusive use of languages. In the end the only thing that is limiting ourselves is our sociability.

We have to actively decide with whom and how we want to relate — deciding as individuals and a society, revealing ourselves through an act of determination to defend real social ties and remember that borders are not always meant to limit.


by Pablo Guerrero Alberola