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TRANS I E N T Thomas King


TRANS I E N T Thomas King


For those lost but not forgotten.


Tr a n s i e n t 1.Lasting only for a short time; impermanent. transitory, temporary, short-lived, sho rt-term, ephemeral, impermanent, brief, short, momentary; fleeting, flying, evanescent, passing, fugitive, fading, mutable, unstable, volatile, here today and gone tomorrow, fly-by-night. 1.1.Staying or working in a place for a short time only.


For a long time the coast line of Spain that looks out over that of Northern Africa has been held in the grasp of changing hands. Once a land of Islamic conquest ( AD 711 ) through to the days of the crusades ( AD 1095 ) when it was used as a launching point for the fight and conquest for the holy land under the orders of the Pope. Even today there is an ongoing war. Not for the control of the land in a sense which has been seen before, but for control of the boarders. It is in our time that we see a different, ongoing battle creating a big stir within the realms of politics and land control. When the Islamic conquest came to the Iberian Peninsular in AD 711 it created a land of culture and learning. Even after the reconquest of the peninsular there were pockets of Islam present throughout the southern most tip of this land. This area that spans from modern day Gibral tar further west towards the area surrounding Tarifa, a strategic vantage point which in todays world sees this crossing

of the migrants from North Africa to Spain. Being the most southernly point in Europe it is possible to see the large mountains of Morocco which jut out of the Straits of Gibraltar and over look the joining of two seas. The land rises from the coast immediately and turns into rising mountains and rolling hills enveloped in brush land and doted with the empowering presence of wind turbines. Ironically the very wind, which on one side of the Straits is a cash generator, on the other is often a harbinger of death - whipping and capsizing non-seaworthy vessels, tossing men, women and children, into the frigid currents waters that join the Atlantic Ocean with the Me diterranean. It is disturbing to think that these turbines bring power to the area but are a metaphor for the death of many migrants trying to make it across the Straits. The tall cliffs along the coast can be seen as a barrier and a formidable boarder with


scars of history upon the tops of them. The old and modern outposts overlooki ng the Straits keep an open eye for anyone trying to break through this unseen boarder and cast a solid reminder of what opposes these people with their ordeal ahead. Remains of life scatter the shore line from discarded clothing, half eaten food parcels and even the depressing sight of human remnants. The small vessels used to travel across the Straits lay torn and destroyed along the coast a stark reminder that this is no easy task. For many who don’t make it there are those th at do. Not all are lost to the sea but caught along the way by those guarding the boarders of Spain. The Civil Guardia hold the keys to the drawn out boarders of Spain and t heir own presence is a deterrence in itself. In the town of Tari fa lays a small part of land that leads out to sea called Isla de las Palomas or locally know as Pigeon Island. This mass

of land stands watch over the Straits and takes in any migrant that is caught along this area of coast. It is a fortified holding area similar to that of a prison. This area of Spain is not only pro minent in human migration but also of many animals. Every year thousands of birds stop over along this coastal land taking in the rich diversity of food before moving on to better lands. This idea of mass migration co-exists between that of man and animal and has done for thousands of years freely and without trouble. It is only in our world today that this friction is causing such a pro blem. This body of work aims to look at this issue of migration, however instead of focusing on the people it looks at the unseen path of migration from Sub Saharan Africa through to Europe. Compiling of three books when finished looking at different areas and factors affecting this top ic. This work on display here is the first of the trilogy.



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