Aleksandra Kroitoru | Alexandra Croitoru
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Alexandra Croitoru Image 1   Alexandra Croitoru Image 2
Imigrant/Uputstva za upotrebu, 2006.
Immigrant / Instructions for use
, 2006
  Imigrant, 2006.
Immigrant,
2006


Born in 1975 in Bucharest, Romania
lives and works in Bucharest

offset.underconstruct.com/2005/

Image 1:
Immigrant / Instructions for use, 2006
digital prints, 30 x 42 cm each

Image 2:
Immigrant, 2006
mixed media, 10 x 13 x 0,2 cm

IMMIGRANT

The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders describes a phobia as an "intense anxiety" which follows exposure to the "object of the phobia, either in real life or via imagination or video (...) The object of xenophobia is a population group present within a society, which is not considered part of that society. Often they are recent immigrants, but xenophobia may be directed against a group which has been present for centuries. This form of xenophobia can elicit or facilitate hostile and violent reactions, such as mass expulsion of immigrants, or in the worst case, genocide."

The visual labeling of such a group (regulated by sumptuary laws) was a common practice throughout Europe and continued to be used until the age of Enlightenment. In 1215 the Fourth Lateran Council made the following decree: "Jews and Saracens (Muslims) of both sexes in every Christian province and at all times shall be marked off in the eyes of the public from other peoples through the character of their dress."* After Joseph II of Austria's Edict of Tolerance (1781) the use of distinctive markings was stopped until the Second World War when the mandatory mark once again became part of Jewish dress.

But to return to the present situation, opinion polls show that many people are still uncomfortable with immigration, showing a phobic attitude toward foreigners. After 9.11, an increase in Islamophobia can be noticed, but the current anti-immigration attitude in Europe is as well directed towards Eastern Europeans (in the context of the EU enlargement). Emphasizing national identity and promising to limit immigration, nationalist parties continue to do well in elections, being supported by an increasing number of people. In this project I imagined a "what if" situation: What if the sumptuary law was to be reinstated again? What if the immigrants were forced to wear "The Yellow Badge"? Could it be a possible scenario for the future?

Alexandra Croitoru

*"The Fourth Lateran Council of 1215: Decree Concerning the Garb Distinguishing Jews from Christians, Canon 68" as quoted in Guido Kisch, The Yellow Badge in History

Rođena 1975. u Bukureštu, Rumunija.
Živi i radi u Bukureštu.

offset.underconstruct.com/2005/

Slika 1:
Imigrant/Uputstva za upotrebu, 2006.
digitalni printovi, 30x42 cm svaki

Slika 2:
Imigrant, 2006.
Kombinovana tehnika, 10x13x0,2 cm

IMIGRANT

Dijagnostički i statistički priručnik za duševne poremećaje Udruženja američkih psihijatara opisuje fobiju kao ''intenzivnu zabrinutost'' koja nastupa posle izlaganja ''objektu fobije, bilo u stvarnom životu, bilo posredstvom mašte, ili videosnimka. (...) Objekat ksenofobije je populaciona grupa prusutna unutar nekog društva koja se ne smatra delom toga društva. Tu se često radi o skorašnjim imigrantima, no ksenofobija može biti usmerena i protiv neke grupe koja je tu prisutna vekovima. Ova forma ksenofobije može podstaći, ili olakšati pojavu neprijateljskih i nasilnih reakcija kao što je masovno proterivanje imigranata ili, u najgorem slučaju, genocid.'' 

Vizuelno obeležavanje takvih grupa (regulisano zakonima o odevanju utemeljenim na verskim i moralnim načelima) bilo je uobičajena praksa širom Evrope koja je trajala sve do ere Prosvetiteljstva. Godine 1215. Četvrti lateranski koncil doneo je sledeći ukaz: ''Jevreji i Saraceni (Muslimani) oba pola u svakoj hrišćanskoj pokrajini u svako doba moraju biti izdvojeni od drugih naroda u očima javnosti posredstvom načina oblačenja.''* Posle Ukaza o toleranciji (1781) austrijskog cara Josifa II, upotreba jasnih obeležja pripadnosti nekom narodu ukinuta je, i to je potrajalo do Drugog svetskog rata, kada je ponovo uvedena obaveza obeležavanja Jevreja.

No, da se vratimo sadašnjoj situaciji: ispitivanja javnog mnjenja pokazuju da imigranti još uvek izazivaju nelagodu kod velikog broja ljudi koji imaju fobične stavove prema strancima. Posle terorističkog napada od 11. septembra 2001. godine, primetan je porast islamofobije, ali sadašnje protivljenje Evropljana imigraciji takođe je usmereno protiv žitelja Istočne Evrope (u kontekstu proširenja Evropske Unije). Zahvaljujući naglašavanju nacionalnog identiteta i obećanjima o ograničavanju imigracije, nacionalističke stranke i dalje dobro prolaze na izborima pošto ih podržava sve veći broj ljudi. U ovom projektu zamislila sam situaciju tipa ''šta bi bilo kad bi bilo'': šta bi bilo kad bi ponovo bili uvedeni zakoni o odevanju? Šta bi bilo kada bi imigranti bili primorani da nose ''žutu značku''? Da li je to mogući scenario za budućnost? 

*''Četvrti lateranski koncil iz 1215. godine: Ukaz o odeći kojom se Jevreji razlikuju od hrišćana, kanon 68'', navedeno u Guido Kisch, The Yellow Badge in History.