Humanitarian Aid / Too Much Melanin
by Núria Güell
The proposal consists of an exchange of services. I offered myself as a bride to any Cuban who wanted to immigrate to Spain, covering the wedding and the plane ticket expenses. Those who were interested were asked to write “the world’s prettiest love letter”; a jury made up of three Cuban prostitutes selected the winning letter, and therefore, my future spouse. The contract attests that he has to be at my disposal for any petition I may ask until the end of our marriage. Currently my husband already has his Spanish citizenship, therefore, as the bases dictated we get divorced, thus closing the contract that blinded us. In the event of a private or institutional acquisition of the project, the profits would be equally divided.
Too Much Melanin
I asked the biennial of Goteborg to hire Maria with the main duty to play “hide and seek” with the public visiting the biennial. Maria is a political refugee from Kosovo who with her family arrived in Sweden 9 years ago, 4 of which they have been living hidden because of the Government denial of their political asylum petition. In the game that takes place in Goteborg, the rules have changed and Maria is always the person who is hiding and the public remain the seeker. Once the contract ends, María will be able to obtain a work permit and therefore become a legal person in the country forgetting the need to hide from the Swedish police. Maria was a police officer in Kosovo specialized in disappearance and traffic in women.
Sweden, as many countries of the European Union, is establishing policies of criminalization and racism on migratory issues. The REVA -project promoted by the Swedish Government- consists on paying bonus to police officer for each illegal immigrant captured: a clear example of how an institutional framework encourages a xenophobic and repressive logic. I am interested in re-thinking the ideological turn applied in this logic, switching from a humanitarian to a utilitarian politic where people remain illegal yet the traffic of goods is free.
This work was submitted by Núria Güell on19th March 2014.