Too Much Melanin

Kingdom of Sweden, 2013

Demasiada Melanina

El proyecto REVA, impulsado por el gobierno sueco en 2013, consiste en bonificar a los policías por cada inmigrante ilegal que detecten y capturen. Esto implica que los policías suecos sospechen de todos los ciudadanos con exceso de melanina en la piel, que busquen e interroguen a transeúntes en base a su aspecto.

    Cuando me invitaron a participar en la Bienal de Gotemburgo (Suecia), mi propuesta artística consistió en pedir que contratasen a María, una inmigrante ilegal de origen kosovar, para que jugase al escondite con los visitantes mientras durase la Bienal. Ella siempre era la que se escondía, y los visitantes quienes la buscaban. 

A través del contrato de trabajo con la bienal, ella pudo tramitar su permiso para residir de forma legal en Suecia y dejar de esconderse de la policía. Antes de emigrar de Kosovo debido a la guerra, María trabajaba como agente de policía especializada en la desaparición y tráfico de mujeres. 

The REVA project, promoted by the Swedish government in 2013, consists in rewarding the police for each illegal immigrant they detect and capture. This implies that Swedish police officers suspect all citizens with excess melanin in their skin, and search and interrogate passers-by based on their appearance.

    When I was invited to participate in the Göteborg Biennial in Sweden, my artistic proposal consisted in asking them to hire Maria, an illegal immigrant of Kosovan origin, to play hide-and-seek with the visitors for the duration of the Biennial. She was always the one in hiding, and the visitors were the ones looking for her. 

Through the employment contract with the Biennale, she was able to apply for a residence permit to live legally in Sweden and stop hiding from the police. Before emigrating from Kosovo because of the war, Maria worked as a police officer specializing in disappearance and trafficking of women.

Curated by Joanna Warsza.
Thanks to ABIS and Tomas F for their support.

Selected texts:

Related projects: