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Walls of Shame: Morocco/Spain

The physical, religious and economic walls seperating Africa from fortress Europe.

Last updated: 04 Dec 2007 13:07
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It matters little what they are called – whether walls, barriers or fences - the intention is the same: to redefine human relations into 'us' and 'them'. This series is about division, and about the barriers that men erect, in calculation or desperation, to separate themselves from others, or others from them. When diplomacy and conciliation fail, this is the alternative, and not since medieval times have walls been so in demand around the world. Tens of new walls, barriers and fences are currently being built, while old ones are being renovated. And there are many types: barriers between countries, walls around cities and fences that zig-zag through neighbourhoods.

This series will look at four examples of new and extended walls around the world. It will examine the lives of those who are living next to them and how their lives are impacted. It will also reveal the intention of the walls' designers and builders, and explore the novel and artistic ways walls are used to chronicle the past and imagine the future.

The Walls of Shame series takes its name from John F. Kennedy's reference to the Berlin Wall in his state of the union address in 1963. It will examine four new walls: The one on the American-Mexican border, the West Bank wall, the Spanish fence around Ceuta, and the walls inside the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland.

Episode Two - Morocco/Spain

The city of Ceuta is the southernmost outpost of fortress Europe. Yet it is on mainland Africa – opposite the Straights of Gibraltar. It is one of the last vestiges of Spanish rule in northern Morocco.

Madrid insists it will never relinquish control and has cordoned it off – prompting comparison with other walls of shame.

Now, though, there are growing demands for a more constructive approach to the problem of illegal immigration. One man has already started a grass-roots initiative that proved much more successful than walls and fences.

But within the town of Ceuta is another divide – a social division that is religious and economic - between the wealthy Christian Spaniards and their poorer Muslim compatriots of Moroccan descent.

Watch episode two, Walls of Shame - Morocco/Spain, here:

Part 1:

Part 2:


Walls of Shame - Morocco/Spain aired from Monday November 12, 2007.


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