Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna (Austria). A classical architecture, straight forms and red colors. Side by side with that other building that got the name, and truly was Secession. It's hall, plenty of columns and frescos, is the hosting place for asylum applicants. They call themselves "refugee protest
". Here I interview one of them:
Salva: You ask for asylum.
Mr. Jahangir Awan: Many among us have had problems in our places of origin. Prosecution by the talibans, or by the secret services, for example. Some of us belong to peoples that live trapped in between two countries, in areas of conflict. We aim to a normal life, that's why one year ago we organized a demo to protest against the austrian system of asylum. Often we have to wait up to 5 and 10 years to get an answer to our applications. If they are rejected, we are deported. And in the meanwhile we are not allowed neither to study nor to work. We want to show our troubleshoot to the society, to the media. The authorities refuse to talk with us. We are exposed here to inhuman conditions, and nobody listens to us.
We live together. At least we are doing something here in Austria, I hope we are contributing to the future situation. Now it's the time for the authorities, for the politics. Everything is controlled by the Ministry of Interior.
We want that, at least, our applications get refused, and then we will go somewhere else.
Salva: When the solution to your situation is achieved, what will you do?
Mr. Jahangir Awan: I will move on with my studies in Business Administration. I will start a business, of hotel managment.
Salva: How is the internal dynamic of your group?
Mr. Jahangir Awan: We make assemblies, together refugees and supporting people. We discuss and decide what to do.
Salva: Do you have links with the european emigration?
Mr. Jahangir Awan: We are in contact with people in Denmark, in Berlin, and more places. We share our feelings and we are united.
Salva: Just now, you are looking for a place to live.
Mr. Jahangir Awan: Yes, for all of us, 25 people.
Salva: And what are your requirements?
Mr. Jahangir Awan: We demand legal status, working permits.
Salva: Do you also cover the internet side?
Mr. Jahangir Awan: We have a legal workgroup, a press workgroup, ... Different people are attending different responsibilities.
Salva: And what can you tell me about international organisms, as United Nations, or the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)?
Mr. Jahangir Awan: They are not interested in us.
Salva: Are you in contact with other refugee camps?
Mr. Jahangir Awan: Yes. The same situations holds all over the world.
Salva: Do you have communication with them in a regular basis?
Mr. Jahangir Awan: Yes.
Mir Jahangir Awan (25 years old)
Salvador Espada Hinojosa (39 years old)
Photo: Gryffindor in Wikimedia Commons