Outcast Europe

Memories of Displacement and Movement

Outcast Europe

Boarding pass

In 1988, I managed to escape to Canada. My parents did not live anymore and I was the last one from the wider family who was still here. An escape was an opportunity for me to live close to my brothers. I was granted a permit to
travel as a tourist to Austria and once there, I applied for political asylum. It took over a year until Canada agreed to transfer me from Austria. During this time, I stayed in refugee camp in Treiskirchen.” Jiří Navrátil

Pins

“The first reason was the education. For my choice of studies – graphic design, besides some private faculties and courses, there is no other appropriate education here, so I had to look at the options outside of Macedonia. The fact that Greek college offered a British system of education and diploma, and even more financially acceptable than the rest of Europe, was a good reason to pick it out. Here I have finished the second year, I am over satisfied with the higher education system they offer, but also from the student life in Thessaloniki. Because of the short distance Skopje – Thessaloniki I am often in Macedonia, which makes me feel less nostalgic then my friends who are studying far beyond Skopje. That object will always remind me of the most positive moment of my education in Macedonia. On the one hand, it symbolises the reason I left – education, but on the other hand it symbolizes a spark of hope that there may be some changes in Macedonia.” Teano

Flag

“The first reason was the education. For my choice of studies – graphic design, besides some private faculties and courses, there is no other appropriate education here, so I had to look at the options outside of Macedonia. The fact that Greek college offered a British system of education and diploma, and even more financially acceptable than the rest of Europe, was a good reason to pick it out. Here I have finished the second year, I am over satisfied with the higher education system they offer, but also from the student life in Thessaloniki. Because of the short distance Skopje – Thessaloniki I am often in Macedonia, which makes me feel less nostalgic then my friends who are studying far beyond Skopje. The object i.e. the flag of the protests of the High School Plenum. That object will always remind
me of the most positive moment of my education in Macedonia. On the one hand, it symbolises the reason I left – education, but on the other hand it symbolizes a spark of hope that there may be some changes in Macedonia.” Teano

Jersey

“I had a great career as a volleyball player in Czechoslovakia where I was playing in a national team. I was praised, I had great results and all the benefits I could have. I decided to leave Czechoslovakia for personal reasons. My father has been sexually harassing me. Since both of my parents were lawyers and active communists in prominent positions, nobody would have believed me even if I had reported it because ‘such things do not happen in high-profile families’. I decided to escape because my father’s attacks became unbearable. I left in August 1988 during a friendly match in the Netherlands. I applied for asylum and soon I was playing with the Dutch national team with whom I participated in the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992.” Irena Králová

Prisoner’s card

“The State Security officers arrested me and my friends in the morning of February 25, 1971, on the day of the ‘February victory of the working people’. We were put in detention on remand. They searched our homes and seized
books and documents. They found my short story ‘My Brother Kain’ which was published in the Brno magazine ‘Kurýr’ and which was inspired by the invasion of the occupying armies. I was charged and sent to prison in January 1972. My novel ‘Reconstruction’ which I started to write after being released from prison is based on the environment of Czechoslovak prisons. I used to hide the finished pages in a siphon bottle in my pantry as I feared
that the State Security could find them. Later, I handed the manuscript to a trustworthy friend. Unfortunately, he was not as trustworthy as I thought.” Ivan Binar

Books

“I started writing articles and became a journalist in a Muslim country where I wrote mainly about controversial topics, unusual lives, and especially LGBT issues. In 1999, a publisher offered to publish my stories. The publishing
house chose a picture of two boys kissing as a cover of my book. It was something inconceivable for a book with such cover to be sold in Turkey. The publisher was then interrogated by the police several times. This was the beginning of my ‘journey’.” A.B.

Towel

“When I was ten, my dad was arrested because of his activities with the youth. He was detained in a prison in Uherské Hradiště, perhaps the worst interrogation centre in our country. After two months there, he had to be taken to hospital and it was almost a miracle that he survived the injuries inflicted on him during the interrogations. He was convicted of treason and he spent twelve years in jail until an amnesty was issued. As a son of a ‘criminal’, I knew I could not even dream of studying at a university. I was also forbidden from joining sports organisation and although I eventually graduated from a technical school, it was difficult to find a job with this label. When my wife and I were thinking about our future, we didn’t want our children to experience anything like that. We left to Vienna in April 1964. We took only one suitcase full of towels in case my wife would give birth during the journey. We were granted asylum in Austria. After a year in migration, I was offered work on Radio Free Europe in Munich and I gladly accepted it.” Jiří Malášek

Book

“The State Security officers arrested me and my friends in the morning of February 25, 1971, on the day of the ‘February victory of the working people’. We were put in detention on remand. They searched our homes and seized
books and documents. They found my short story ‘My Brother Kain’ which was published in the Brno magazine ‘Kurýr’ and which was inspired by the invasion of the occupying armies. I was charged and sent to prison in January 1972. My novel ‘Reconstruction’ which I started to write after being released from prison is based on the environment of Czechoslovak prisons. I used to hide the finished pages in a siphon bottle in my pantry as I feared
that the State Security could find them. Later, I handed the manuscript to a trustworthy friend. Unfortunately, he was not as trustworthy as I thought.” Ivan Binar

Vinyl

“The state secret police became more interested in 1977 after a successful concert of my band Extempore in Lucerna music hall in Prague. Our songs were considered ‘ideologically harmful’. Later on, we created the Mezzanin Folk Group and in 1981, we played at the Yappa festival in Łódź for 3000 people. Right after that, they had detained us at a train station in Ostrava and the pressure of the secret police has increased. We were interrogated on a weekly basis. In the autumn of 1982, they detained me again; they loaded me into a car and brought me to Bartolomějská again (name of the street with secret police station). They laughed at me with an expression full of self-confidence, they pulled up a thick file of documents against me which was full of lies. They accused me of abusing young girls – of course I didn’t do that. They’ve given me a choice to either get eight and a half years in prison or to move out of the country immediately. I chose to migrate and later I cooperated with Karel Kryl on the creation of this album in exile.” Jeroným Neduha

Sculpture

The reasons and the atmosphere of outward migration from Hungary.  The less visible, hidden, but real problems beyond the term “dangers of migration”. As it happens very often, many of the family members and close friends of Blue Ego have left Hungary recently. Additionally, as a result of his profession, he is in daily contact with the asylum-seekers arriving to Hungary.