The Externalisation of EU-Migration Politics and Artistic Activism

panel discussion

Sunday, 19/11/2023, 4 pm

with Azizou Chehou (Alarm Phone Sahara/Agadez), Wael Garnaoui (Border Study Research Group/Sousse), Leonie Jantzer (Afrique-Europe-Interact/Agadez), Thameur Mekki (independent journalist/Tunis), Mariama Nzinga Diallo (artivist/Vienna), Petar Rosandić aka Kid Pex (SOS Balkanroute/Vienna) 

and the artists of the exhibition Belhassen Handous, Joanna Pianka und Tomash Schoiswohl

moderated by Katarzyna Winiecka (artist/activist)

an event in the context of the exhibition project OFF YOUR SHOES

Venue: Flucc, Praterstern 5, 1020 Vienna

Belhassen Handous, Untitled, 2023, intervention with fire and scratching on empty film stripe © philomena+

Starting from a discussion around the “Memorandum of Understanding”, which Tunisia signed with the EU in July 2023 and which assigns the North African state – in return for various allowances on the part of the EU – the task of fighting Mediterranean migration, the artists Belhassen Handous, Joanna Pianka and Tomash Schoiswohl conceived the exhibition “Off Your Shoes”.


The panel discussion with experts from the field of migration and artistic activism will provide context for the exhibition and deeper insights into geopolitical intentions and EU measures to stem migration. In order to outsource border protection, the EU digs deep into its pockets and establishes questionable partnerships, disregarding human rights conventions.  


Eventually, artistic strategies related to the issue will be debated and it will be discussed how artists position themselves politically and what impact artistic works can have.


are both part of the transnational network Afrique-Europe-Interact and of the transnational project Alarme Phone Sahara (https://alarmephonesahara.info/en/). Azizou Chehou is the coordinator of the APS in Agadez, Niger, which is a crossroads of migration in the Sahelo-Saharan zone and where the main office is located. Leonie Jantzer works as a doctoral candidate on migration research in Germany and is among other things responsible for public relations of the APS.


has a PhD in psychoanalysis and psychopathology from University of Paris. He is currently an assistant professor and researcher at University of Sousse and fondator of Border Studies Research Group. He recently published his article “Externalization des frontières européennes et politiques migratoires tunisiennes: une psychologie des impacts socio-politiques”, in which he discusses the impact of EU policies on the Tunisian population.


is an independent journalist, former editor-in-chief of Nawaat (2017-2023), Thameur Mekki has collaborated with various French-speaking international media after having written and produced for press, radio and television in Tunisia. Specializing in the emerging Tunisian art scene and media criticism, his work speaks often about marginal socio-political and cultural dynamics.


is an activist and Pan-Africanist, photographer, artist, and performer. She studied contextual painting at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She is currently involved in helping Black people who have fled from Ukraine.


is a Croatian-born hip-hop musician from Vienna, whose second album Bečko čudo / Wiener Wunder reached the album charts in his home country. Since 2021, he has been the chairman of the NGO "SOS Balkanroute", which primarily supports refugees stranded on the EU's external border in Bosnia and Serbia.


is a researching artist, activist and art/cultural educator with a focus on migration history, border regimes, flight/assistance and criminalization. Her diploma thesis was entitled "Unmaking the Smuggler Narrative. Shifting borders through activism, art and research in the hegemonic smuggling discourse using the example of the interventions of Fluchthilfe & Du". Since summer 2023, she has headed UNDOK - the contact point for undocumented workers.

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