What is central to us is solidarity with refugees and people on the move. In doing so, it is important for us to be in constant exchange with the people in order to be able to cover actual needs. Currently, access to basic needs such as food, sanitation and medical care is largely not guaranteed, which is why we focus primarily on these.
A mainly symptom-oriented approach is unfortunately difficult to avoid in the current situation. Besides trying to cover basic needs and the active representation of human rights, we also want to increase our focus on building up long-term projects in cooperation with other, especially local, people and organizations.
We see the frachcollective as a self-governed, grassroot collective built on the principles of direct democracy and equal rights. We strive to abolish hierarchies and to take decisions by consensus.
We actively speak out against all forms of discrimination and misanthropy and value an open and respectful interaction with each other as well as with other people and groups. Accordingly, we always try to act anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-fascist. This includes reflecting and questioning our own role and the role of the collective in general but especially here, in Bihać.
Our mainly privileged positions imply structural power imbalances on different levels, not only towards the people on the move, which need to be thought about. The context in which our work takes place is itself marked by inequalities regarding structural, economical and political possibilities. This easily leads to a reproduction of certain hierarchies and therefore requires constant questioning and efforts of one’s own cultural sensitivity and motivation.
We are located in Bihać (Bosnia&Herzegovina) directly at the external border of the EU and try to support refugees in transit. Since the context, in which we are working is very complex, a thorough preparation for the local conditions is essential. We try to integrate our understanding of the local structures, the population and the economic, political and social situation in our work here. The Bosnian war was only 26 years ago: the self-assignment and structural separation into different ethnic groups and the resulting conflicts continue to exist for the most part. The consequences of the war are still present everywhere.
The consequences of the war remain present everywhere. The city of Bihać itself has an important historical past that is still present in the cityscape.
The organization and group structure of our collective are still in construction. On the one hand, that’s because the group hasn’t existed for so long. On the other hand, this flexibility is something we want to actively maintain over the next (hopefully) years. Most decisions are taken by the people on site. Thus the group and working structure is always changing. In order to still have a certain basis on which to work and represent the collective, it is important that certain values and ethical principles are fixed and that the transfer of knowledge is guaranteed.
To work in this context means to be confronted with a situation that often seems hopeless. People’s freedom of choice is enormously restricted, basic needs are denied, people are physically and psychologically abused and tortured. We are powerless against most of this and can only try to deal with some of the symptoms, often inadequately. That is why we want to carry the experiences we make in Bosnia back to the EU. Because the causes for the miserable conditions lie in the EU, in it’s policy of sealing-off and it’s border regime.
We as a collective demand the abolition of all camps and freedom of movement for all people. Fight fortress Europe!