AntiNote: the following is an interview that crimethInc’s Ex-Worker podcast included in their episode #43, Borders and Migration, Part I: Europe’s “Refugee Crisis”, released on 7 December 2015.
Alexandra is a comrade of the Antidote Writers Collective, we are proud to say, and has shared some very important and difficult thoughts with the Ex-Worker about her experiences on the Balkan route, from well before the precarious situation in the region was christened such. Her insights are for us especially crucial to sit with and consider as we prepare for our own participation in solidarity efforts “on the field.” As we imagine that our readers are motivated and engaged and either already working on the field, preparing a trip, or looking for ways to contribute from afar, we present these insights to you in the same spirit. Let us learn from her experiences and build on them.
The Ex-Worker publishes full transcripts in parallel to every audio episode they release. We present here only a tiny fraction (lightly edited for clarity) of the impressive document that is the transcript of episode #43. We encourage you to power through the whole thing, or (probably more enjoyable), listen to it.
Alanis: We wanted to hear from some radicals and anarchists directly involved in migrant solidarity struggles at the moment in Europe, so we put out some feelers. Many of the people we contacted were so busy with support work on the ground that we couldn’t set up interviews. But we did manage to catch up with a few folks who shared some valuable perspectives on what’s been going on with migrants in Europe and how anarchists have been responding.
We’ll now share a longer interview with Alexandra, an anarchist from Switzerland, who discusses her experience doing direct migrant solidarity work in Hungary and elsewhere, and her reflections on how her experiences on the ground confronted and sometimes conflicted with her anarchist visions.
The Ex-Worker: Alexandra, thanks for talking with us!
Alexandra: I’m happy to talk to you.
The Ex-Worker: You’ve spent some time in Röszke, Hungary, which has been one of the “hot spots” around conflict and solidarity with migrants in Europe recently. Can you talk a little bit about what you experienced there, why in particular these places have become so significant recently, and what kind of solidarity efforts are happening there?
Alexandra: I was with a group of people in Röszke in the middle of September—this is at the border between Serbia and Hungary. At the point when I was there, there was still an open space in the border where people could go through on the way to Western Europe, over Hungary.
What I think is important for context is that the situation is extremely volatile and chaotic at the moment in the Balkans, so the place where I was, Röszke, doesn’t exist anymore like it was then, because the border there is closed now. But other places, which are very similar but are just at a different spot on the map, have opened now. So just in case people would want to go and support the migrants, this place is basically not a hotspot anymore Continue reading We Will Find a Way: Politics and Praxis on the Balkanroute