Is the North Really Going South? Or, to Put It in Other Words: What the Hell is Going On in Europe?
A short exchange that occurred between Nikos Papastergiadis and Jimmie Durham during the preparation for South as a State of Mind fall/winter 2013 issue (Tradition column), addressing the unravelling crisis in Europe and its global consequences
Is the North Really Going South?
Or, to Put It in Other Words: What the Hell is Going On in Europe?
Here is the response to your question:
“This is a typical Euro-centric, or white people’s, perspective. There was a show that closed here in Berlin, as you know, called Former West. A nice idea that western Europe no longer exists if eastern Europe no longer exists but the reality about that kind of thinking is that Europe and its expansionist colonies, i.e. the Americas and Australia etc., are no longer the centre that they taught us all they were.
Once again, due to Western economic practices which have resulted in the current crisis, numerous immigrants from Europe are leaving to the former colonies, i.e. Australia and Brazil, putting pressure on the employment markets there, where native peoples, and in the case of Brazil also Blacks, have high unemployment. Profound and necessary changes will once again be postponed by England, by Italy, by Portugal, by Spain, by Greece etc., as Europe’s problems are welcomed in these former colonies because they are of European origin and white. Permission has not been asked of the native peoples of Australia nor Brazil for the further loss of resources and land that this will result in.”
Born in 1940, Jimmie Durham is an artist, writer and poet of Cherokee descent. During his long career he has lived in the United States, Mexico and Europe, where he currently resides. As an artist and a political activist in the American-Indian Movement he always questions his identity without denying its complexity as part of the artistic community, as a member of an ethnic minority, and as a human animal. A perfect case for South as a State of Mind magazine, as he has never betrayed the legacy of his origins; no matter how many biennials he has participated in, he always approaches his work with the patience necessary to observe reality and with the innocent curiosity of a child.