Tuesday, 7 February 2017

"This planet is for everyone, borders are for no one…….

…It's all about freedom.”  Benjamin Zephaniah, Refugee Boy

Crossing the Pyrenees for the fourth time. This time on the outermost eastern edge, with sea views, along the coastal route. Beginning of November, so there was not a lot of traffic, beautiful, little up and downy cycling on good roads. Easy crossing…

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Interesting who you meet at borders!
We met Juan, an Argentinian young man cycling from Amsterdam to Barcelona. He is the first person to instantly recognise that we were clowns! And he had a bicycle ready prepared for us...  While we were chatting Pierre stops his car to chat to us and tells us he saw the show in Narbonne. He was so happy to see us! We were so happy that all the omens were looking good! We cycled on with huge smiles and red noses on our faces.





A short while after we came across a wandering salamander on the road. A magnificent specimen and still alive, not flattened on the road as so many of his friends. We advised him to leave the road and helped him on his way up some steps, into the vineyards.

Sir Salamander 
concrete borders no way out
may dragons help you

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Cycling into Cerbere dragons were flying ahead… the omens are still with us, the salamander must be safe. 



Cerbere, a border town. Sitting above the train station is Can Decreix a place to live degrowth now. What with Brexit and Trump and all the issues around freedom of movement, we do need to talk about economics, deindustrialisation, post capitalism, we do need to talk about environmental catastrophe, limits to global resources and resulting migration and refugees.
Here on the border of two countries, we find a place on the border between two worlds - one that is destructive, falling apart and holding us back, the other full of loveliness and waiting to be lived.
We learnt that we are to lick our plates and “to forge in the smithy of our souls”.
 Can Decreix

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The hairiest compost toilet we’ve ever seen!
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Another comedy washing machine.
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Cerbere was for about 100 years a busy town, thanks to a mistake made by the Spanish when they were building their railways. When it was time to link up the railway systems on the french and spanish border the rails didn’t match….  Out of this grew a whole new industry and with it a whole different town. Getting goods coming from Spain, mainly oranges, across the border meant that people had to carry them by hand. The workers were mainly women and they were called les transbordeuses. Just a little story about not joined up thinking across borders.

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Planet Auto - the global car park is well on it's way. No more oranges, just joined up global thinking.
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time for no borders
crisis opportunity
solutions and change
        
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Where do you come from ? D’ou venez-vous ? De donde veneis ?    
Where I am, where I have been, and where I am going  seem less important.
So what are people really asking for?

And just where do I come from?           
I come from a faraway place,
where I am not really from.
Where I am really from,
I am not really from either.

We Refugees - Benjamin Zephaniah
         
So where do I come from?
Somewhere, and that is not just a place, a nationality, a language, it is a whole story, one of many stories.

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We are Pouya  This is the story of our friend Pouya, who we met four years ago at the beautiful Grand Hotel Cosmopolis. A story of borders and where do you come froms. A story of sudden deportations. We can all be refugees. Forunately Pouya is able to stay in Germany for the time being, to perform in an opera, playing the role of a refugee who get's deported at the end....


Wir sind Pouya - an interview


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“When we raise borders and fences
all we are doing is creating a greater division,
mainly amongst our own people
and between the good people
on the other side of the fence and us.” Yanis-Varoufakis

“Together we have to start a second journey to another safe place that might exist in the future”
(Eritrean woman, arriving on the island of Lesvos).

To a world unafraid of itself, a world where we treat as pariahs those governments that refuse to let people enter.

Let's build bridges, not borders and keep the road open.

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