In the trap of a neoliberal economy lives are determined by conditions of increasing inequality and accumulating debt. There is very little protection for someone with little or nothing. Without proof of address, without papers, existence becomes subject to manipulation and debt. Debt is a means of control. The distortions of corporate wealth and cheap labour are made to appear inevitable. There is no ambiguity in the reasonable reasons for the journeys made by many – to escape conditions that are organised, imposed and untenable. War, poverty, unemployment move people. The danger is – as in Running Light – of ‘no papers’ – a condition of ‘illegality ’ imposed on a person who can then be deported. Exploitation deepens for those being made or born stateless – ‘a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law’. A stateless person does not have a nationality or legal protection of any country. This is exploited by a global economy that depends on cheap, expendable labour. There are no sides to emptiness – the ambiguity is in the place of writing – the frozen window – drawn in ice.
Ambiguous Journeys 2019 lis rhodes [40mins B/W digital commissioned by Nottingham Contemporary and funded by the Freelands Foundation]