Tanja Ostojic and the EU

"My first triggers about the European Union came from my personal experience with crossing borders, queuing in front of embassies and consulates and filing out numerous questionnaires and applications and being interviewed by immigration officers. It is here that the disdain of the European Union becomes evident and how power relations function. Upon entering Fortress Europe, there is a range of safety procedures you have to go through: the bag searching, scanning, questioning and other indiscretions. At the end of the day, you come to realize you are even part of a privileged “category”. Apart from arrogance or elitism, the EU is also guilty of exploitation. It uses cheap labor, towards which it does not assume any responsibility in terms of retirement benefits or health insurance. In my work, I have often addressed the situation of the illegal or sans papiers. Another breed of exploitation is the practice of outsourcing production in unfair trade manners – the EU outsources to Asia, Africa, South America and the new member states including former Eastern Europe, and in this way exploits more people and kills other markets. Human Rights and the European cultural identity seem to be only a façade. If we look at the newest developments and how easily the EU dropped down Greece, Portugal and Spain as if they were not member states, we can understand where this is leading."

"Lexicon of Tanja Ostojić — Via research on online networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Skype I have been able to find around 50 Tanja Ostojićs. In working with the biographies of my name-sisters, I try to cross-cut them around the key issues such as war and transition in Yugoslavia, gender issues, discrimination at work, or the way their lives are affected by the current state of capitalism. The project results in cartographies documenting how Tanja Ostojićs have been migrating and what issues they have been confronted with along their lives. The Tanja Ostojić conventions will be another aspect of the project encompassing meetings, events and workshops."