The Society of Friends of Halit: No One is Illegal
with Martin Rapp, Rex Osa, and Ralf Homann

8–10 pm
Fridericianum, Friedrichsplatz 18, Kassel
Live stream available

Twenty years ago, the No One is Illegal campaign was established as a decentralized network of anti-racist, migrant, and refugee-solidarity groups within documenta X’s Hybrid Workspace. Since then, it has represented the fight against the ideas and policies that make people “illegal,” thereby denying them any rights at all.

The result is a campaign that has spread internationally due to its deliberately open character. In the years since then, it has come to stand for the fight against the illegalization of refugees and for global freedom of movement: “No one is illegal.”

A week of action, from June 19–25, 2017, will be aligned with the campaign’s theme, “No one is illegal,” which appears in a new light in consideration of the temporary border openings in the summer of 2015 and the subsequent tightening of asylum laws. A policy of the massive deprivation of rights has once again been legitimized through the racism of society as a whole. With this event, we want to examine these developments closely, and thus, have initiated the forthcoming week of action.

In dialogue with the manifesto written in 1997, we will listen to voices from that time and explore a spectrum ranging to the present, including current discussions of racism, the right to remain, and equal rights for all. The manifesto covers various aspects of the struggles experienced by people driven into so-called “illegality.” It reads as frighteningly contemporary. And yet: the manifesto is twenty years old and the situation is not the same as it was at that time. Following brief introductions by activists who were present at the foundation of the network in 1997, refugee activists and representatives of No One is Illegal Kassel, we will reflect on the current situation of twenty years of No One is Illegal through an open exchange. The evening should not only focus on the input of the presumed experts at the podium, but also on the experiences and positions of all who are present.

There is free admission to all events of The Society of Friends of Halit.

Coordinated by Ayşe Gülec, Initiative 6. April, and Kassel postkolonial

Martin Rapp is a journalist focusing on the fields and intersections of labor, migration, and history as well as an educational advisor at Arbeit und Leben. Previously, he worked for the Bielefelder StadtBlatt, the federal working group Asylum in the Church, the Documentation Center and Museum of Migration in Germany (DOMiD), as well as with various exhibitions, among them Project Migration (Cologne Art Association, 2005/06). He is a founding member of No One is Illegal and active in anti-racist initiatives, among others, the nationwide group the People’s Tribunal Unraveling the NSU Complex.

Rex Osa is a refugee activist from the Caravan Network and the founder of Refugees for Refugees in Stuttgart. Politically persecuted in Nigeria, Rex Osa fled to Germany in 2005 where he faced repression, isolation, and institutional racism. A critic of German refugee policies, he has been active for over ten years in various initiatives. He advocates refugee empowerment and self-determination/organization. Osa is continuously “representing” the position of refugees within the context of different international platforms on migration and the living conditions of refugees. In his work, he focuses on the causes of flight.

Ralf Homann is an artist and activist, and founding member of No One is Illegal. His work considers issues such as anti-racism, migration, and resistance.

Posted in Public Programs