Sailing for Geeks 2 : Ship-to-Shore

The crew of Sailing for Geeks on board, at sea.
Nathalie Magnan | Ewen Chardronnet | Nicola Triscott, Sailing 4 Geeks: Ship to Shore. Photo: Andy Bichlbaum

Sailing For Geeks 2 @ Fadaiat took place in the framework of "Fadaiat : freedom of knowledge, freedom of movement" event

Sailing for Geeks 2 : Fadaiat : ship-to-shore took place in the framework of "Fadaiat: freedom of knowledge, freedom of movement" event : a political, technological and artistic laboratory that took place in Tarifa (Spain) & Tanger (Morocco), on both sides of the tense frontier dividing Europe from Africa. Fadaiat means "through spaces" in arabic. Fadaiat 2005 had the theme of exploring ideas of open borders.

Sailing for Geeks 2 established a link between the two sides by sailing boat. On the boat, a crew of activists and artists physically explored the roads of migration between Morocco and Spain. From Gibraltar (UK) to the enclave of Ceuta (Spain), from Tarifa (Spain) to Tangier (Morocco), we entered each country from the sea, cooperating with the processes of immigration control. We traced and documented our course via GPS, radar and radio communication.

The idea of Sailing for Geeks 2 was to try to give a representation of what a border really is. Crossing the Straits of Gibralter by sailing boat is dangerous, with high winds, strong currents and a busy shipping channel, which made it possible for the crew to have some idea of what it is to cross this zone in one of the “pateras”, the boats of fortune of the illegal migrants.

The sailing boat also tested technologies of counter-surveillance deployed on shore by the Makrolab team. At Tarifa, radio ham Aljosa Abrahamsberg fastened an antenna on the Tarifa fortress to intercept maritime communications between cargo liners and Tarifa traffic.

In Tanger, the crew met two Moroccan Fadaiat-Tanger representatives, Hicham Limrami and Youssef Hbib from a Larache organisation which works with immigrants and particularly their children, trying to give them "a boat for life", a craft to succeed in Africa rather than to seek happiness beyond the sea. Both took part in the three day Fadaiat workshop animated by Indymedia Estrecho. "Indymedia enables us to have a support, to connect our local associations to the rest of the world. Here, in Morocco, there is no freedom of speech."

Sailing for Geeks 2 was about physical reality, its visibility and its connections to digital perception - about the collision of representation and the concrete world. Hence mapping the physical space, navigation challenges, fragments of historical and symbolic traces, police control systems and power relations taking place in the straits.

Sailing for geeks from Bandits-Mages on Vimeo.

For more detail, maps, logs of the crossing, etc, see the project web-site


This project was supported by The Arts Catalyst (UK), Ellipse (Fr) and Projekt Atol (Slo).