Línea de Fuga
As a result of war and conflict, of situations of generalized violence, or due to systematic violations of human rights, more and more people are fleeing their country of origin every day. According to data provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), we are currently experiencing the largest exodus ever recorded in the history of humanity: as of June 30, 2017, almost 70 million people have forcibly abandoned their homes, to embark on an arduous journey to other corners of the world. Forecasts indicate that this figure will not stop increasing.
The long wait
As reported by the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR), in 2017, 31.120 people applied for international protection in Spain. This is by far the highest figure reached in a single year.
For the first time, Spain was among the six countries of the European Union that attended the most requests and, although the Government granted refugee status to 595 people (the highest figure since 1994, in the midst of the war in former Yugoslavia), the percentage of positive resolutions has decreased worryingly.
The long wait to formalize the application for international protection within Spanish territory –which last year reached an average of five months– has terrible consequences for the people who are often left homeless and unable to cover their basic needs.
The vanishing point
A vanishing point is the locus at which the projections of parallel lines in a space converge. It is an unspecified point, located at infinity. There are as many vanishing points as directions in space.
Barcelona is a place where infinite vanishing points of parallel drawn lines converge. Coming from all over the world, different lives merge in this city, after leaving their countries of origin in a forced or involuntary way. Their trajectories rarely travel in a straight line, and yet they converge at the same point: a place to start projecting anew, to start over from scratch despite the emotional baggage, in an environment that can sometimes be hostile and in which rejection becomes a constant.
Ignorance is the door through which unfounded fears rush by. Fear is a control system for those who neither know nor want to learn. For whom the word different is synonymous with bad, wrong or in short, with a meaning that leaves no room for discovery or learning.
As documentary makers we are used to traveling as an attempt to better understand the world in which we live. We portray this variety of places with the desire to share and to transmit what we have learned. However, when carrying out this project we wanted the very world to come to us, in the shape of infinite lines and lives, who arrive here and whose stories are imprinted on their body and memory. The images and words exposed in the project are the result of a series of in-depth interviews and photo sessions carried out with the utmost respect and sensitivity towards their protagonists. Their portraits are the voluntary meeting place from which to project themselves towards others. Their story becomes a tool to inform and to teach, to admire the ability of human beings to overcome adversities, despite their human sensibility.
The images and texts that make up this project, as well as the graphics and the analisis obtained from the research process, have been exhibited in the city in a large-format proposal that combines scaffolding structures with photographic printing on micro perforated fabric. The resulting visuals of one and a half meter by one and a half meter were exhibited in the Plaça Reial in Barcelona on the occasion of the Year of Commerce and Culture, an event that unites two of the most representative sectors of the city: that of its economy, plural and nearby, and that of its creativity and cultural initiative.
“Línea de Fuga” was born within this framework and counted on the participation of the Fundació Setba and the Associació d’amics i comerciants de la Plaça Reial and has received the support of different associations committed to human rights. The project is promoted by the Department of Commerce of the Barcelona City Council, who sees the ability to create synergies and complicity with the city's cultural and social actors in this initiative.