[eng] 'The dead are coming': Mediterranean refugees in Merkel's front yard

Article published on Aug. 23, 2015
Article published on Aug. 23, 2015

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

After the Center for Political Beauty won the attention of the public with its gigantic theft-action "Fall of the European Wall", the artists' collective is now bringing the Mediterranean dead to Germany in an attempt to awaken European sense of compassion and draw attention to the repeatedly neglected problem.

The German artists' collective, Center for Political Beauty has organised a crowd-funding campaign 'The dead are coming', the aim of which is to bring the refugees who drowned in the Mediterranean sea to the "center of  Europe" in order to provide them with a dignified burial. "From this week on we are no longer going to allow that the dead in the South of Europe rot in mass graves and cooling chambers", they claim in their campaign-related video, which was published on June 14 and which also shows photos of the bodies of 17 refugees who drowned around the beginning of this year piled up in an old refrigerator.

We're bringing the problem to Germany

The clip also shows shovels and excavated coffins. "Accompanied by the family memebers, Imams, priests and morticians, we have opened the undignified tombs and exhumed the bodies. Now we wish to present their bureaucratic murderers before the eyes of the European public."

The numbers for 2015 are already alarming. There are already 30 times more dead in the Mediterranean sea than there were last year in the same time period, according to the International Organisation for Migration. And while the European politicians continue working on the theoretical ten point action plan on migration or planning military interventions in Libya, as was published by Wikileaks, the Center for Political Beauty has at least succeeded in one thing: to put the refugees issue right in front of people's front doors.

News from the CPB

Within just a couple of days the crowd-funding managed to collect 32 500 EUR via the Internet platform Indiegogo. This ensured the first two burials of "the victims of the European closing of the borders". The addresses of the cemeteries in Berlin were made known to the public only 6 hours before the burials, so that the actions wouldn't be endangered by the authorities. The first burial will be held today on the cemetery Berlin-Gatow.


Facebook users can express their condolences to the victims' relatives by joining the virtual book of condolences. Geli, for example, used it to send the following message: "We should have learned that looking away kills people. But we obviously haven't. My condolences are mixed with feelings of embarrassment. With embarrassment and rage because of the indifference of our society. Forgive us. Please forgive us."

Moreover, there is a planned 'March of the Willing' for Sunday 2 p.m. in Berlin. It shall be led by a dredger that will be used to bury the dead in front of the Federal Chancellery. Angela Merkel's front yard should become a gigantic cemetery, a monument for those, who started their journey towards Europe full of hope. Why didn't the refugees simply book a flight to Europe? That would be much cheaper and less dangerous. The question asked by professor Hans Rosling in the Swedish YouTube series Gapminder couldn't be simpler. And the answer is crystal clear: The EU Directive 2001/51/EC which lays down the obligations of carriers transporting foreign nationals into the territory of Member States. Therefore, airline companies that transport illegal immigrants to Europe without the proper documents for entry to the EU, have to finance their return to their respective countries. 

Not very lucrative for the airline companies though. Not very responsible from Europe to simply entrust the fate of the refugees to the airport check-in counters. And while the CPB digs graves in Berlin, the same elephant remains in the room: How much closer does the refugees issue has to get in order for Europe to reconsider its culture and make it more welcoming?