Migrant Journal—Issue 1 Across Country
type—independent print publication, first of six issues
project team and credit—Migrant Journal; Catarina de Almeida Brito, Christoph Miller, Isabel Seiffert, Justinien Tribillon
Migrant Journal is a six-issue independent print publication that explores the circulation of people, goods, information, but also fauna and flora, around the world and the transformative impact they have on space. While migration is part of humanity’s genesis, it seems the phenomenon has become ubiquitous, happening faster, with complex ramifications.
Migrant Journal aims at exploring the relationship between these elements, events, journeys and spaces bound under the idea of ‘migration’ in all its forms, crucial to understand today’s society. In order to break from the prejudices and clichés of migrants and migration, Migrant Journal asks artists, journalists, academics, designers, architects, philosophers, activists and citizens to rethink our approach to migration and critically explore the new spaces it creates.
Each issue explores a different theme related to migration. Issue one, Across Country, looks at those spaces that lie beyond traditional urban confines. This number includes essays, reports, and texts that touch upon migration happening in the countryside, such as rural exodus in Japan, shifting glaciers in the Alps and the undocumented spaces migrants move through in Mexico.
“We should build cities in the countryside, because the air is much purer over there” said 19th-century French writer and humorist Alphonse Allais. Today’s writers, intellectuals, and designers are far more concerned about the urban space—promised land of diversity, economic growth, social (in)justice, cultural creation. We’ve entered the ‘urban age’, the space of the ‘endless city’, implicitly discarding rural space and neglecting the ‘countryside’ as inexistent.
The refugee crisis that Europe is currently facing is shedding a dramatic light on the countryside. Syrians refugees flee the war via Turkey, then Greece and their isolated beaches, to move on to travel Europe across country, fields and scenic landscapes via Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia... The forgotten rural land is the stage of our present migration tragedy.
Migrations in rural settings, however, transcend movements of people. The countryside is the metaphor of the nation, its permanence is celebrated in the vocabulary and the iconography: soil, roots, trees, farmers. But, like cities, the countryside has dramatically changed, influenced by human and ecological footprints—man-made or natural. Most of the fruits, vegetables and cereals that are part of our everyday diet and whose crops are shaping our rural landscapes are not autochthonous, they were imported. Seeds are also migrants, and so are the mechanical inventions that shape our landscape. What will be the migration of tomorrow? What will be the countryside of tomorrow?
With Contributions by:
→ AMPHIBIOUS CREATURES
→ MOVE TO WORK
Sophie Dyer & Eline Benjaminsen
→ SPECTRAL TOPOGRAPHIES
→ ALGORHYTHMIC HORIZON
→ STRONG CAPITAL, FRAGILE WORKERS
Paolo Woods & Gabriele Galimberti
→ THE HEAVENS
Paulo Moreira & Pétur Waldorff
→ LUANDA’S PLEASURE RESORTS
Maya Ober & Magdala Goldin
→ POLARIZED MIGRATION
→ THE PANIC OF 1873
→ EXTRACTION EXPULSION
Michaela Büsse & Jariyaporn Prachasartta
→ THE REMORAS