Hostile Terrain 94 – Exhibition at Klapperfeld

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The exhibition “Hostile Terrain 94” was hosted at the former prison, Klapperfeld, now an autonomous center in Frankfurt, between September 11 and October 23, 2021. The exhibition was supported by the Academics for Peace – Germany, along with Medico International and Lush Charity Pot.

The participatory exhibition project was initiated by the non-profit research and art collective “Undocumented Migration Project” in the USA and is planned to be implemented at around 150 locations worldwide. A series of talks and seminars had been conducted online, bringing many scholars and activists in the making of the exhibition since the beginning of 2021. More information about these events and their recordings can be reached on the exhibition website.

More than 3,000 of cards, called “toe tags,” dangle from the wall attached to pins. Each of these cards symbolizes one of the people who have died since the early 1990s on the border between Mexico and the United States as they fled through the Sonoran Desert. At least half of the cards are orange, indicating that the dead could not be identified.

In other rooms, photographs, paintings, and a film by artists from Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey, for example, are shown that address the issue of flight from their perspective.

On the outside wall of the former Gestapo and deportation prison, the curators hung a list of names of the more than 40,000 documented refugees who died on their way to Europe. A third of the list was torn down after just one day.