"It’s not ‘we don’t need’ or ‘we cannot handle’, it’s ‘we don’t want’."
2020 / THOMAS BELLINCK
PUBLISHED BY: DiEM25
"After several years of research into EU border and mobility management, I am no longer surprised by the lack of political realism and decisiveness when it comes to people whom the state does not recognise as citizens (and who therefore are not entitled to civil rights, but only to non-binding ‘universal human rights’). Western countries like Belgium have a long history of cloaking such impotence under a veil of humanitarianism..."
"Migration policy is then reduced to the question: how do you manage the movement of so many bodies across space and how do you do so as efficiently as possible? The question is of course what selection mechanisms underlie all this management, which implies much more than merely ‘directing traffic’. The result is social selection: which bodies are desirable and which bodies are undesirable…"
Speculative Documentary as a Counter Strategy to Documentary Taxidermy
2019 / THOMAS BELLINCK & AN VAN. DIENDEREN
PUBLISHED IN: CRITICAL ARTS
"... what artistic strategies can we use to shift the focus away from the humanitarian border spectacle and system-supporting myopic commiseration? In our own respective practices, we want to (and must) ask how we can critically question the power structures inherent in documentary making. How can we deal with our own inevitable blind spots and positions of power? ..."
"One of the vice-presidents of the European Commission delivering a keynote speech in Bratislava, used Domo as his starting point to talk about the EU’s current woes. To be perfectly honest, most of his speech was pretty laborious and highly problematic, proffering the same solutions that got us into this bloody mess in the first place. The vice-president actually never even visited the museum. I should know. I was there. Making my rounds and watering the plants. Serving drinks at the museum bar..."
"If we’re talking about representation, we had better ask the people who are generally captured in an image how they would like to construct that image. We do that literally in this production by asking the question: ‘If you were to create an image about a certain form of human-hunting, what would that image look like?’
Speech pronounced at the opening of the Flemish 2009 Theatre Festival
2009 / THOMAS BELLINCK
PUBLISHED IN: ART AND ACTIVISM IN THE AGE OF GLOBALIZATION
"I understand your sense of nuance, because I share it. But a battle is no place for nuance. A battle is no place for our cherished pose of the right-minded artist. On the contrary, our much-treasured critical distance almost a priori inhibits our ability to take action..."