‘So Far, So Good: Contemporary Fascism, Weak Resistance, and Postartistic Practices in Today’s Poland’ an article in e-flux by Ewa Majewska and Kuba Szreder. In this article A.S.I. ‘s latest performance, A Funeral March to Frontex from Warsaw Uprising Museum, as the second scene of Polacy! Refugees and Citizens, is mentioned:
Similar ideas guided the artists and activists who organized the collective performance Polacy! Refugees and Citizens, an intervention staged in August 2016 at the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising and outside the Warsaw headquarters of Frontex, the EU border agency.17 When planning the action, artists Dorian Batycka and Ehsan Fardjadniya had proposed a performative historical montage that would remix the fraught memory of the Warsaw Uprising—the ultimate fight against a fascist occupier—with the current plight of refugees. The performative intervention in the museum consisted of a nonviolent reenactment of PTSD symptoms (fainting, screams, repetitive body movements) and the secret placement of adétourned pamphlet about the Warsaw Uprising. Afterward, participants marched to the nearby Frontex headquarters while carrying a small coffin and singing a Kaddish song.
During the action Ehsan, who was born in Iran, was “arrested” by the private security personnel who guard the skyscraper that Frontex calls home. No surprise there—he was the only one of us with a dark complexion. Later, real policemen arrived and briefly detained Ehsan, until they verified his Dutch citizenship and released him. In the meantime, several lawyers on hand informed us that under an “antiterrorist” law passed in January 2016, any person deemed by the police to be a potential “risk to our country” can be held without charges for up to two weeks. (Certainly, a person of Iranian descent is considered such a threat by default.) Poland is not a safe country for people of Arab and Persian descent, with the government’s racist statements echoed by football fans, neo-Nazis, and ordinary “patriots”—or even sometimes by our neighbors and fellow academics. It seems that only art spaces, whether state-run or private, remain free of these influences.
Thanks to Vanessa Gravenor‘s article in THE SEEN, Chicago’s International online journal of contemporary and modern art, on our collective (Anonymous Stateless Immigrants Collective) and performance/intervention in Museum of Warsaw Uprising and Frontex: ‘It’s about a society in free fall… Frontex acts as a type of Donald Trump border policing, but in liquid form. Further interventions of ASI Collective included carrying a casket outside of Frontex’s headquarters in Warsaw, and singing a Jewish mourning song. Frontex’s is the EU’s border control that goes as far as “rescuing” refugees crossing the sea, but then always taking the refugees back to their war torn countries.’
We got invites to go to Komenda policji (police office) on 4th of October, all 5 Polish participants of the actions. Ehsan Fardjadniya and Dorian Batycka were not invited, and it’s highly unlikely they will be.
In the text below, we like to make our artists statement public in regards to our intervention in Warsaw Uprising Museum and Frontex headquarter in Warsaw.
The PDF below is a factural Report of Our Performance and Intervention at Warsaw Uprising Musuem and Frontex Office.
On August 3rd, 2016 our performance took place at around 14:00 hours in the Warsaw Uprising Museum, Grzybowska 79, Wola district, Warsaw, Poland and moved to Frontex headquarters.
This document is written by Ehsan Fardjadniya, a member of performance group who was atained at frontex office behind close door by security guards.
A contemporary version of Warsaw Uprising 1944 pamphlet is ‘Refugee Uprising Manifesto 2016’. We will place this tomorrow at the heroic, nationalistic and military Museum of the Warsaw Uprising. There will be more interventions planed in the museum as well as in fornt of Frontex (Agency of European border control), ironically situated few meters away from the museum.