Herman Asselberghs

Title: Capsular
Directed and produced by Herman Asselberghs
Duration: 23:00
Format: 16:9
Image: Fabio Wuytack
Edit: Bram Van Paesschen
Sound design: Boris Debackere
Voice: Vincent Eaton
Language: English spoken
Subtitles: without subtitles
Production date: 2006
Production country: Belgium
With the support of: Bruegel Revisited

Capsular

The Spanish enclave Ciudad Autonoma de Ceuta stands midway
between a city and an autonomous community with a Parliament and
president of its own. Formerly an administrative part of the Spanish
province of Cadiz, Ceuta, situated along the coast of Morocco, is now
fully part of the European Union. This vanguard of European neoliberal
and xenophobic refugee policy acts as a contemporary version
of the ‘Iron Curtain’. As a tangible construction this ‘Wall’ between
Europe and Africa is a precarious example of an extensive deportation
annex security industry. As a symbolical line of fracture between North
and South, between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’, this enclave represents both
the harsh reality of Africans looking for a brighter existence and the
fantasy of Europeans beset and menaced by barbarism. With its
‘remote control’-policy Europe literally moves out its asylum problem:
not only does it outsource the management of its borders to third
parties, the Africans are also forced to participate in the fight against
illegal immigration. The presence of asylum places bordering or even
downright on African territory pushes the extent of the European
borders far beyond their actual coordinates, turning the local
authorities into watchdogs and hiding the migrant population from the
view of the Western citizen. Capsular is a reflection on the relevance
and irrelevance of images, on ‘the camp’ as a symbol, a symptom. In
the footsteps of his previous video work Asselberghs goes on another
quest for an approach which plays on mainstream media, commenting
on them and countering them.

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