30 years Schengen

And the architectural relicts of internal EU-borders

2015 marks the 30-year anniversary of the Schengen Agreement, which ensure free movement of people, vehicles and goods within the EU. Different festivities are programmed to celebrate this historic milestone.

The opening up of the internal borders and market changed the way we migrate and do business. It also affected the way we build our national and transnational identities. This is a fascinating concept for artists. One recent project of the photographer Ignacio Evangelista is worth mentioning: After Schengen. Evangelista uses the 30th birthday of the Schengen Agreement to enlighten the architectural embodiment of the pre-Schengen period. He shows what loss of use and function does to these relics of a more nationalist oriented era of the EU.

©Ignacio Evangelista

Most of the objects shown in this serie are vacant, in decay and slowly disappearing. A reinterpretation of this part of EU-history, expressed through re-destination and design, could boost not only the objects themselves, but also their surroundings. The idea of re-destination of function-specific objects turned into practice in Amsterdam, where the transformation of bridge houses is recently set into motion.

If you are interested in other artistic expressions inspired by Schengen and the concept of borders, Schengenalia is an interesting website. Here you can find a mapping of Schengen Art and other related information.

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