For Freedom of Movement & Fair Development!

June 2010 | Speech of Osaren Igbinoba at the Caravan-Festival in Jena

“Unite against colonial injustice in commemoration of the victims of Fortress Europe”

Under this motto, a festival took place between June 4-6, 2010 in Jena. The word “festival” is in this context the expression of our political struggle to present the central elements of neo-colonial exploitation and the related consequences in a creative and very specific form to the public.

This is especially true: locally and outside. Over the course of three days, various activities and actions have taken place at several locations in downtown Jena: e.g. lectures, discussions, plays, live music, film screenings and exhibitions. Two key program points created the opening of a memorial for those killed by the stronghold of Europe and a masquerade parade, where those who died on their way to Europe were received when entering the city in the form of Nigerian masquerades.

Preparations were done by activists from the VOICE Refugee Forum, a network of political refugees and activists, which has been campaigning for the inhumane situation of refugees in Thuringia as well as in all of Germany since 1994.

The festival was organized solely on a volunteer basis; neither organizers nor the participating artists earned anything. This is due less to the low budget supported by foundations and donations, than on the principle of our political struggle: the basis of the continuing colonial inequality are economic interests, the inhumane treatment of refugees, internment camps and the subsequent deportation is justified by their low economic value. We will not reproduce this pattern. Therefore, let us not presume to decide how much a contribution to the festival is worth. We want to live in a society based on solidarity, in which the people are not categorized by their supposed economic value.