“For at least a decade, the refugees have been caught in a situation of systematic abandonment. Their living conditions in the EU have gradually deteriorated. This process was neglected by the nation-states in the “former” Western European countries. For a long time the refugees have been systematically forced into a situation of impoverishment, deprivation, and seclusion. They have been the victims of a process of racial discrimination that has diminished and depoliticized the concept and the status of human rights.
The refugees decided themselves to break out of such a situation. They started not only by making demands, but also by performing and acting out political equality in the space of the EU’s pre-established political, social, and economic inequality. The EU survives on a constant reproduction of inequality, which is the axiom of neoliberal global capitalism. The refugees broke the predetermined space of politics in which only predetermined actors—let’s say citizens—have visibility and are taken seriously when asking for democratic rights. But the struggles and demands of the refugees—who, in the parlance of Jacques Rancière, belong to the “part-of-no-part” in the present global capitalist political reality—imposed themselves in a way that forced the people of Europe to regard them as equal.4 In so doing, they re-politicized and rearticulated the space of Europe, imposing the axiom of equality in a space of political, social, and economic inequality.”

- From: A Refugee Protest Camp in Vienna And the European Union’s Processes of Racialization, Seclusion, and Discrimination by Marina Gržinić, published on e-flux.

Photo: Andreas Edler, Refugees in Vienna, November, 2012.