Yes: some of this images are horrible. I generally don’t share pictures or footage of those victimized by fortress Europe. I no longer want to take part in this racist spectacle, that presents the injured or lifeless bodies of refugees as products to be consumed. My reason to share this footage, however, is that it also presents something we hardly see on European television. And that is that people are fighting back. At this moment, riots are taking place at the inner borders of Europe. Too often, this remains unmentioned by the mainstream press, who instead prefer to portray refugees as needy and passive – not to say submissive – victims, rather than as people who are prepared (and, needless to say: indisputably entitled) to fight for their rights. People who are not submissively asking for help, but posing a demand. This is of great importance. For at the end of the day, we don’t merely want to be the ‘welcoming hosts’ of people desperately needing our help – instead, we want to be in solidarity with powerful and determined people, who have fought and confronted hardships that many of us are not even remotely familiar with.
Mathijs van de Sande on