It’s pretty interesting really, how these events unfold and how at odds to life at home they seem, how different my actions and thoughts are now to even a few days ago. Back home the general belief in my community is that borders are wrong, that free movement is a human right and that people should be able to act freely and wherever they want. It’s a concept that’s easy to talk about and to understand in a broad sense, but it’s a general feeling, an impression that something’s wrong, but often without foundations in experience. A day ago we delivered food and water to a makeshift camp, from the surrounding trees a steady flow of people arrived, a community gathered, a diverse mix of nationalities, ages and genders enjoying eating together.
Clothes and shoes were handed out from the van, soon a football buried under t-shirts and jackets was being kicked around, there were smiles and laughter, in a strange way it made me think of home. In streets and parks all over my home town groups hang out and enjoy kicking a ball around and passing time together, it made me realise how completely insane it is that these people are being kept from the life they want to lead by a border, by distorted ideas of identity or even a perverted protection of economy.
I know people who only think of ‘refugees’ in one light, as a generalised image informed by media, it’s an image that’s easy to accept or refuse, to argue for or against, but often without much intuition from either side. It really seems strange that anyone could only see a generalised ‘refugee’, but I’ve been lucky to meet people, meet individuals, people that remind me of my friends and family. From far away the image presented to us can only generalise, creating an abstract likeness that’s easily painted in a negative light or even used as a political bargaining tool, I don’t like it, but I understand it. There’s no way to describe this clearly as you’re not here, these are just people, good, bad, happy, sad and stranded. Some enjoy the escape of simply kicking a football around, just like friends and families on any street corner or park in any city, anywhere in the world.