This piece shows us images out of telecinco.com´s news bulletin that offer us one of the scenes of the conflict at the border between Europe and Africa, taken with police CCTV cameras. These are scenes that are repeated on a daily basis, as a large group of subsaharan immigrants attempt to enter the city of Melilla during the night, using handcrafted ladders to jump over the fences.
Jiménez’s video deals with a complex issue, that of immigration, at the same time that it criticizes the mass media – especially TV and its biased presentation of reality. The piece is part of the research undertaked by the author and the Zemos98 collective (of which he is a part) about the possibilities of reinventing television and of the citizens re-using the medium through the internet.
The incident was reported in the following manner in one of the Spanish national daily newspapers on the 3rd of October, 2005: “650 subsaharan inmigrants attempted to enter the city of Melilla using ladders to jump over the fences. 350 managed it, 135 were injured, of which 5 are at the moment in critical condition, as well as 7 members of the Spanish Civil Guard.”
The numbers and the people change, but the scene is repeated daily. Everyday we can see in the Bosque de los Pinos woods, on the Moroccan side of Melilla’s border, a large number of people of African origin, with handcrafted ladders, waiting by the kerb of the road for the fall of night. They will walk to the wire fence and try to jump the 6 metres high fence that separates Moroccan and Spanish territory. The Spanish authorities have intensified the levels of control, the fences get higher, CCTV cameras multiply in number, the Legion forces join the Civil Guard, etc... The aim is in vain, as it is to stop something which is impossible to stop, the right to demand rights, the right to look for a dignified way of life. Mobility has transformed our world in different ways, and it is also the most immediate way out for thousands of people living south of the border portrayed in this piece. The distance, both geographic and physical, that separates both realities, is small, but that which is established in economic and survival terms, is immense.
Immigrants have become political subjects who organise in order to escape and avoid their predetermined destiny, in order to fight for dignified living conditions. Police now speak of coordinated actions, planned together, as in this case, which took place a night in June 2005, and as so many others after this first one.
The soundtrack, which is part of a tune by the Malagan band 713th love, complements the images: “there are children who remember the day of the Three Wise Men because of the gifts that they didn’t receive”.
Music: “La Televisión No Lo Filma” song from the record “Horrores Varios de la Estupidez Actual” by the band 713avo amor. Published by Triquinoise. Málaga. 1993