Part of Memories of Displacement

Ships with goods and materials from all over the world bump into the Bibby Challenge with their waves

Adnan Softić

Germany 2020, 12 minutes

Refugees and water: a motif that has become representative of the borders of Europe. The national borders that criss-crossed Europe just three decades ago did not dissolve, but migrated to the less visible external borders of Europe. They migrated into the water. Another, less familiar image of refugees on water were so-called accommodation barges: mobile housing units that can be easily deployed, dismantled without a trace, or moved as needed. In Hamburg, German authorities set up a couple of such barges to accommodate refugees from the Yugoslav Wars. One of them was called Bibby Challenge. In his film, Adnan Softić reconstructs the special experience of living on Bibby Challenge. The gentle rocking of the ship kept reminding the inhabitants of the temporary nature and exterritoriality of their accommodation, even into their sleep.


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