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You are obliged to tell the truth
video, 2018
4 min
The video was commissioned by the Tallinn Art Hall for the exhibition The State is not a Work of Art (17.02- 29.04.18), curated by Katerina Gregos

The right to asylum is one of the fundamental human rights set out in our constitution.
The fundamental right to asylum has been tightened in recent decades, with fewer and fewer people being able to rely on it. The EU has been reinforcing its borders, with the result that only some refugees reach European countries, and the people who have made it, have to struggle through a complicated asylum procedure. What does such a procedure look like and who can decide whether or not to allow people to stay?These issues are rarely discussed in public, but the criteria and the course of the decision are highly questionable.

Since 2013, Marina Naprushkina has been observing the asylum procedures at a Berlin court. In the video You are obliged to tell the truth, the artist combines the questions judges pose to plaintiffs (refugees) with Brandenburg landscapes. Are the judges in the asylum procedure even in a position to judge what has happened to people in their countries of origin? Do they only judge based on their own ideas, their socialisation and experiences? Why are the refugees being forced to justify their escape? This is an absurd and cynical approach with far-reaching consequences for individuals and for society as a whole.

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