The petition “Ausschluss Basta,” an initiative put together by cultural workers, activists, and researchers on the occasion of the controversial “integration” debates in Austria and Germany in 2010, states, “We want to live in a society in which it is self evident that all people share the same rights.” Borjana Ventzislavova, in her video Migration Standards, takes up this and also other demands in the area of migration policy. But it is four children and young people who direct their statements to the camera, one after the other, in front of different backdrops who present these demands rather than the actors themselves. The settings are also unsettling: well-known views of Viennese landmarks, such as Schloss Schönbrunn and the parliament, are placed in and in front of various (non-)sites, such as a highway, landscapes of train tracks, or an overlying flight corridor. These places can be described as transitory ones that serve primarily the purpose of transportation and mobility, for which the relevant acoustics of dominant automobile traffic or airplanes thundering by provides emphatic evidence. They are thereby potentially inscribed with migratory practices of escape and illegal border crossing. Through the strange condensation of these contrasting elements, Ventzislavova invokes conflicting images of individual and collective projections of the omnipresent theme of migration. The strength of the work is revealed precisely in the fact that the articulation of political demands remains present beyond the multiple disturbances and ruptures. Their implementation—as the title makes unmistakably clear—should already long be a social standard.
(Luisa Ziaja, Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt)
5 min 20 sec