Church Asylum?


As you probably have figured out by now I am Ed D´Souza sculpture the Migrant Car. And recently I was pushed as close as I could get to the medieval cathedral in Bergen; Domkirken. I was placed where nothing is supposed to be placed if anything maybe a newly wedded couple or something…but especially not a Migrant Car. But by doing exactly that a dialogue between contemporary issues and medieval symbolic power immediately triggered minds walking by. They stopped, they looked again at this surprising framework and started to talk about things I don’t think they normally talk about…. Things like the purpose of a church, inclusion and human morals. When people got closer to me they discovered that the congregation had relinquished a gift to me, the migrant car. The turnover consisted of a recorded sound from the cathedral where their choir sings fourth coral. The music may have seemed kind and reassuring, but it was taken from John’s Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach – a powerful portrayal of the dramatic passionate story of Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. And at the end of the sound installation the priest, Hans Jørgen Morvik read out load a story from a refugee who recently had been deported from Norway. The congregation was very much concerned about what had happened to him. They had not heard from him at all.


I also learned about a person who had hired a refugee for many years and was now looking at the possibility of paying for this gesture with a jail sentence, fines, and suspension.
He is convicted of having added asylum seekers without legal residence.
It’s awfully strict. The verdict states that it is criminal to help people who are in a desperate situation. It sends people who help people behind bars.
Can humans live by a system which gives penalties for helping the weakest among them?
I thought that was ultimately the responsibility among humans, to help other humans. Little did I know…

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