Migration and brotherhood

For World Refugee Day, on June 20th of this year, our planet celebrated a sad record: more than 60 million of us are migrants forced into exile worldwide for reasons of war among others. It is worth noting that most of these migrants moved between countries of the South and that only a limited number of them tried to reach Europe …

Bloated by its too often unevenly shared wealth and its immense appetite for consumption, the Western world feels generally worried, faced with the influx of these people who ask for asylum, and it does not really find any other answer than to close its borders, build walls or barbed wire fences, and set up hotspots, a surprising way of "sorting" among those people who are seeking refuge in countries which nevertheless have the means to take them in. In the same protectionist vein, the West is also trying to hold them back, upstream, in African countries of "transit" as well as in other places.

Is it not true that in 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall had been celebrated as the victory of freedom of movement, a right given to every person? But, why then, today, do we have about 40,000 kilometres of walls separating people from each other? "All people are right in imagining themselves peaceful and brotherly. Violence and aggression always come from someone else, the foreigner, the barbarian, the one who does not have the same skin colour, prays and speaks differently. It is necessary to push (him) away as far as possible from the borders of the united and forbidden country"Josefa/Newsletter%20Josefa%20Septembre%202016%2026072016-English.docx#_ftn1">[1].

This take on relations between human groups is as old as mankind. But it is very surprising to see that it re-appears in such a violent way in these first decades of the 21st century. It seemed fair to think that mankind had for the most part grown in solidarity, or even in brotherhood. Like a huge regression, these frequent stenches of distrust and racism seem to submerge what many believed to be experiences of civilization.

Indeed, Josefa does not share these isolationist positions, whether they are individual or collective and sometimes, fortunately, rarely audible; but it does exist in a specific context. Our proposal is the Josefa House, with spaces of co-residence and hospitality in reciprocity between migrants, forced or not into exile, in order to try to live out together our migrations and to share the "best" of them freely and in a brotherly fashion. In the hope that our outlook can be peacefully and durably transformed.


Josefa/Newsletter%20Josefa%20Septembre%202016%2026072016-English.docx#_ftnref1">[1] Michel Rocard's open letter, Le Nouvel Observateur, March 7, 2013.