ADMINISTRATING REFUGE /////// FLUCHT VERWALTEN - P1 ///////























 
 



Michael Stoll’s work aim at the intercept of art and architecture, always accompanied with a hint of critical impetus. While his last works focused on travelling and seeking refuge, his later work now processes the procedures thereafter. Hopes and expectations of refugees bluntly contrast with the administrative reality refugees are facing at their destination. How does often cited “Willkommenskultur”, pro-refugee attitude, manifest itself?

In 2015, researchers from the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research counted 424 political conflicts globally. This, being the highest number of conflicts since the Institute started its work in the beginning of the 1990s. In 2016, the number of refugees globally, for the first time, exceeded the number of 60 million people. At the end of 2016, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR estimated that about 65.6 million people are seeking refuge due to war, despotism or poverty. Due to the numbers of refugees reaching Europe, the topic not only found its way into people’s conscious but also onto the political agenda, even though only the tiny tip of the ice berg, 722,370 people according to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, filed an application for asylum in Germany in 2016.

In his work LAGESO, Michael Stoll addresses one of the focal points of the recent refugee debate. One can easily approach this work with Jürgen Habermas. Habermas differentiates between lifeworlds and systems. Lifeworlds can be characterized by vocal communication, the factor which differentiates us from other species: In conversations we can exchange arguments of rational and emotional kind to make our point. A system on the other hand, represents a certain functional area of a society. An area where communication is represented by binary code, either you are or you are not.

From time to time these two components of our society clash. One of these places is the LAGESO in Berlin. Here, the primary registration of refugees takes place, asylum applications are filed and processed. The administrative structures of LAGESO follow a systematic approach, likewise all administrations. In all forms to be filled out, only yes or no boxes can be ticked. You can comply with a predefined reason for seeking asylum or not – but not to a certain extent. At the same time administrative processes represent real people. People with complex non-linear fates. People with rational and emotional reasons to take refuge.

Michael Stoll’s work focuses on the challenges to bring these two components in agreement. On the one hand an administration with tiny fanatic details and bureaucratic hurdles of many kinds, an administration which’s process IDs stand for real people. People which’s fates do not fit the given boxes to tick. People which’s fates are in need of empathy and humanity. // Text: Leonie Lydorf / Translation: Lissy Langer






 
















 Fotografien: Caroline Bollig ©





























 Fotografien: Caroline Bollig ©





 














































































Fotografien: Caroline Bollig ©