Friday, May 16, 2008

Thinking about walls

My walls project is in its early stages, to be sure, but I´ve been musing a little lately about what all of it means. What do these various walls have in common? What do they tell us?

At first I was thinking that these walls are simply expressions of fear, but I think that might be too simplistic a take. I wonder, instead, if the walls are monuments to failure. They represent a lack of ideas and of imagination. The walls are not solutions, but are a manifestation of the failure to find a solution.

Any thoughts?

3 comments:

alexiskienlen said...

What about wailing walls or memorial walls?

How do they fit in?

alexiskienlen said...

And what about gated communities in the Western world?

What do they say or signify?

Just putting these questions out there for contemplation.

Marcello Di cintio said...

I don't think memorial walls and the 'wailing wall' quite fit in with the others. They were not built to keep people out of people in.

Gated communities are interesting, though. Yesterday I spoke with a man here in Melilla about the super-fence along the border. I asked what the people in Melilla think of the wall. Consdering the fact that the fence has not slowed down the arrival of migrants into Melilla - they come by boat or by truck now - I wondered what Melilla's citizens thought was the point of it. What is it protecting them from?

He said that for the people here, the fence is more a symbol of difference than a protective barrier. It signals that they are not the same as their Moroccan neighbors. When you cross the fence you are in Europe, and life here is different from out there.

Perhaps this is the same idea for gated communities. Those 'gates' don't protect against anything, but they say that the people inside are somehow different from you.