florian schneider on Thu, 25 Nov 1999 23:12:45 +0100

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Syndicate: no one is illegal thematic evening on tv station arte

hi you all,

on december 2nd, the german-french tv station "arte" will broadcast a
so called thematic evening called "no one is illegal", which
[cross the border] and dogfilm produced.

for those who cannot receive arte program we are going to prepare a 
special video tape edition. one film, "sortis de l'ombre", which is
about the struggle of the sans papiers movement, is already translated
to english. 

for more informations, please check:




Arte, December 2, 1999

"No one is illegal" 

A thematic evening by dogfilm, cross the border and
Kathrin Brinkmann and Sabine Bubeck (ZDF-Das kleine Fernsehspiel)


8.45 pm		The electronic curtain
9.40 pm 	Planeta Alemania. Observations from invisibility
10.20pm 	Global Player. Stories from the job market
11.10pm 	Into visibility. The church St. Bernard 
		and the struggle of the sans papiers
00.20am 	With other people's help
01.00am 	No one is illegal - documents for all! Discussion

Close-down: approx. 1.30 am

Press release

	"I want you to know that no one is illegal. This is a contradiction in
terms. People can be beautiful, or even more beautiful. They can be just
or unjust. But illegal? How can a person be illegal?"
	(Elie Wiesel)

There are - according to estimates by the UN - around 50 million people
worldwide living without valid residence status. They are called
"undocumented people", "irregulars", "clandestine", "furtive" or, in
administrative lingo, simply "illegals".

In a Europe that attempts to build up walls to the outside to the extent
that it pretends to be opening up to the inside, almost every form of
immigration is now being systematically illegalized. From Schengen and
Amsterdam to Tampere - barely one meeting of heads of state and of
government that does not, among other things or predominantly, have as
its aim yet another tightening of asylum or immigration regulations.

But even migrants who have been living in European countries for several
years do not have any guarantee that their residence permit will not be
suddenly withdrawn.

To live with an illegalized status means to have no protection or rights
in interactions with authorities, employers and landlords/landladies,
but also in case of illness, accidents or assault. It means to live in
constant fear of being discovered, because this would imply punishment,
internment or immediate deportation.

The resistance against illegalization, internment and deportation of
migrants as it has found its expression in more than three years of the
French movement of the "sans-papiers" and their supporters as well as in
Germany in the framework of the campaign "No one is illegal", aims first
of all at calling public attention to the inextricable situation of the
illegalized, and then to call for practical solidarity between citizens
with and without such papers. In addition, however, an important aim is
to discuss the global circumstances which lead to migration, to
reconsider the definitions charged with resentment and the collective
denunciation of refugees and to develop utopias that do not end up in
the paranoia of a "Fortress Europe".

The thematic evening "no one is illegal!" makes an attempt to turn
television into a - however fictitious - place in which people can speak
on an equal level and communicate with each other regardless of their
residence status - into a place in which no one remains necessarily
"invisible" or "voiceless". 


Das sans papiers TV 
Script: Merle Kröger, Philip Scheffner, Ed van Megen (dogfilm)
      Madjiguène Cissé José Mbongo-Mingi,
Directed by, camera by, edited by:  Merle Kröger, Philip Scheffner, Ed
van Megen (dogfilm)
Moderation:	Madjiguène Cissé, speaker for the sans papiers
and José Mbongo-Mingi, speaker for the Karawane für die Rechte von
Flüchtlingen und  Migrant/innen (caravan for the rights of refugee and
First time on air in German and French

Madjiguène Cissé, speaker for the sans papiers in France, and José
Mbongo-Mingi, speaker for the Karawane für die Rechte von Flüchtlingen
und Migrant/innen (caravan for the rights of refugee and migrants) in
Germany, lead you through the evening as presenters and reporters. In a
total of four documentary intermezzos they speak with people directly
concerned, supporters, journalists and experts about the problem of
illegalization of migrants and refugees. Towards the end of the evening
they open a forum for discussion which attempts to show perspectives and
utopias in the dialog between people with and without documents.

The electronic curtain (Het Electronische Gordijn)
Documentary, 50'
Script, directed by: Walther Grotenhuis 
Camera: Erik van Empel
Edited by: Hens van Rooij
The Netherlands 1997
First time on air in German and French

"The electronic curtain" is a film about the system of surveillance at
the German-Polish border. The fall of the Wall gave rise to a migration
movement from Eastern to Western Europe against which the Ministers of
Home Affairs of the EU recommended stricter measures of control at their
conference in Budapest in 1993. The German Federal Border Protection has
thereafter made it one of its highest priorities to extend border
security. By now the German-Polish border has become the exterior border
of Europe with the tightest control, and the most modern technology is
being used there. The documentary "The electronic curtain" approaches
this border from three different points of view.

On the one hand it documents the work of the Federal Border Protection
and sheds light on the security systems used in the border region. Newly
developed night-vision cameras are by now able to distinguish movements
at the border at 5 kilometers distance. Representatives of the Federal
Border Protection explain the importance of border security for a united

Jonas Widren, migration expert and head of the refugee office Eastern
Europe in Vienna, also gets to present his views. He provides
information about the development of migration movements into Europe
since the fall of the Wall, and about the function of transit spaces
such as the Ukraine.

Finally the film follows a Romanian on his journey from Romania through
the Ukraine and Poland to the German-Polish border which he wants to
cross in order to reach Germany in his quest for work.

Planeta Alemania. Observations from the invisibility
Documentary, 38'
Script, directed, camera, sound, edited by: dogfilm & companer@s
Germany 1999
First time on air in German and French

Many people without residence status, without documents, live and work
in Germany. And the consequences of this go beyond having no access to
citizens' and social rights. "It is like being constantly on the run."

The documentary "Planeta Alemania" is the portrait of a woman who cannot
show herself in front of the camera. It tells the story of the everyday
conditions of life in illegality, in which it is crucial to remain as
invisible as possible. Composed of various tableaus which give
expression to the stories of the protagonist about her experiences,
fears and dreams, it gives the picture of a person without this person
leaving the invisibility. "Planeta Alemania" was produced in close
collaboration between the protagonist, the translator and the film team.

Global Player. Stories from the job market
Documentary, 36'
Script, directed, edited by: Jochen Kraus and Florian Schneider
Camera: Arnd Christian Buss von Kuk
Germany 1999
First time on air in German and French

The fact that people leave the region in which they have grown up
because they are hoping for better conditions of life or plainly livable
conditions in a different environment, has become not only natural but,
in the context of a globally operating capitalism, a necessity.
Nevertheless, in the current discussions, migrants and refugees are
almost exclusively described as problem cases.

"Global Player. Stories from the job market" chooses a different
perspective: The emphasis is on how enriching migration movements are -
in material, economic, political and social terms.

"Global Player. Stories from the job market" documents working relations
as they come up, in all their complexity, in reality and every day -
under the tightened conditions of illegality, deprivation of one's
rights and lack of any guarantees. Jochen Kraus and Florian Schneider
have approached employers who hire migrants, ranging from the family
business to the large corporation, to let them speak about their
relations to the migrants.

Into visibility. The church of St. Bernard and the struggle of the sans

Documentary, 62'
Script, directed, edited by: Jochen Kraus and Florian Schneider 
Camera: Arnd Christian Buss von Kuk, Andreas Lindl
Germany/France 1999
First time on air in German and French

The tightening of the immigration and naturalization regulations in the
beginning of the 1990ies led to the first occupation of churches and
hunger strikes of the sans papiers in France in 1996, which aimed at
calling the attention of the public to the precarious situation of
illegalized people with spectacular actions. People who had in their
majority been living in France for more than ten years, were paying
taxes and represented a non-negligible economic factor, claimed equal
rights and permanent residence permits. "Documents for all!"

If they had not started before, the brutal eviction of the church of St.
Bernard in August 1996 and the demonstration of over one hundred
thousand people against new legislation on the denunciation of
illegalized people some months later prompted groups with similar
objectives in many other European countries to get organized. The sans
papiers are the first movement that has not only been managed by the
people directly concerned from the very beginning, but has come to be
irrevocably a factor in the political landscape of France which can no
more be passed over in silence.

The film attempts a sort of inventory by reconstructing the development
of the contentions starting with the events in Paris in the summer of
1996 and trying to trace the course of events to this day. The
demonstration on the 3rd anniversary of the eviction of the church of
St. Bernard gives the backdrop to the film. Speakers of the sans papiers
then and now like Madjiguène Cissé, Traore Gaousson, Ababacar Diop,
Kamara Hamady recall the occupation of the church and reflect on the
political processes that have led to the current situation. Other people
who make their appearance: Guy Laveuve, one of the priests of the church
of St. Bernard, Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, professor of international
law and member of the mediating committee "College des Mediateurs", as
well as Ariane Mnouchkine, director of the "Théatre du Soleil", who have
supported and accommodated the movement from the outset.

With someone's help
Essay, 31'
Script, directed, edited by: Merle Kröger, Ed van Megen, Philip
Camera: Jörg Heitmann, Gereon Schmitz 
Germany 1999
First time on air in German and French
"With someone's help" is a film collage about an illegal service. The
essay traces the evolution of the image of the escape agent from the
stylized heroic myth to the criminal "human trader" acting out of purely
selfish motives.

The collage of multifaceted archive material is complemented by the
accounts of three refugees on their escape with the help of escape
agents: Hanna Papanek managed to escape from Marseille to the United
States in 1940 with the help of the Emergency Rescue Committee. Günther
Helvoigt left the GDR in direction of the West in 1972 in the trunk of a
car of the Aramco AG company. The Kurdish woman Devrim Kaya escaped back
to the country where she was born, Germany, with the help of organized
"human traders" in 1994. Their experiences and motivations for relying
on someone else's help meet with the history of an evolution of values
through the media.

The sans papiers TV: Round-table discussion
Excerpts from a discussion, approx. 32'
Script, camera, edited by: dogfilm
Moderation:	Madjiguène Cissé, speaker for the sans papiers und José
speaker for the Karawane für die Rechte von Flüchtlingen und
Migrant/innen (caravan for the rights of refugees and migrants in
Germany 1999
First time on air in German and French

Madjiguène Cissé and José Mbongo-Mingi, the moderators of the evening,
have invited four experts to the info box on Potsdamer Platz in Berlin
in order to discuss the perspectives and utopias of living together
among people with and without documents in Europe. Their guests are:

- Eric Toussaint, Belgium, author of the book "La bourse ou la vie"
(play on words on Money or Life/Stock Exchange or Life), head of the
"Committee for the cancellation of the third world debt"
- Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, France. Professor for international law
at the Jussieu University, Paris
- Philip Anderson, England. Social scientist and co-author of a stury
commissioned by the Jesuit Refugee Service on life in illegality in
- Czarina Wilpert, Germany. Researcher on migration and lecturer at the
Technical University, Berlin

Close-down: approx. 1.15am

Preliminary program No one is illegal / Documents for all!

- Habillage, Module 1	
- The electronic curtain	49'20
- Moderation, Part 1: Sans papiers TV	approx. 6'52
- Habillage, Module 2
- Planeta Alemania. Observations from invisibility	37'24
- Moderation , Part 2: Sans papier TV	approx. 5'22
- Habillage, Module 3
- Global Player. Stories from the job market	approx. 36'00
- Moderation, Part 3: Sans papiers TV	approx. 8'28
- Habillage, Module 4
- Into visibility. The church of St. Bernard and the struggle of the
sans papiers	ca. 60'00
- Moderation, Part 4	ca. 9'27
- Habillage, Module 5
- With someone's help	31'15
- Moderation, Part 5 (discussion)	approx. 31'59
- Habillage, Modul 6 (final credits)
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