EUROPOLY — The European Union Identity Trading Game

Dejan Kaludjerović in collaboration with Ludwig Kittinger

Location: Vienna, Austria

Project Description:  On the 18th of November I am inviting my Austrian friend Ludwig to go with me on the streets of Vienna to randomly invite few Austrians to come to my studio and play Europoly Portable Game Version. Also I am gonna confirm the invitation to organized Playing Europoly event with 12 politicians, NGO representatives from Austria that will happened on 12th of December in Vienna. Europoly (2004) is an ongoing project, which has so far been realized in the form of an installations and a portable game version. Europoly is informed by my personal experience of immigration. At first impression, Europoly may seem simple and playful – a game that is intended to take the player through the complicated, problematic and rough world of the immigrant, a game that explores the challenges immigrants face in everyday life. One of my main strategies in choosing this topic and the method of engagement is informed by the fact that most people exist in their own worlds and systems and do not pay much attention to the issues and chal- lenges faced by others – I feel this situation can breed prejudice and animosity. On the other hand, the administration itself does not care about individuals and their personal stories. They want to protect their system, their values and capital, which is understandable but in order to start any kind of process for improving these issues, we must first begin by exploring and uncovering them. Europoly is an attempt to bring attention to the lives, experiences and personal stories of others, especially immigrants in European Union.

Europoly radically transforms the widely familiar game of MONOPOLY – Monopoly means to have power over something or someone – into a Kafkaesque world of complex rules/laws, which today’s European Union offers to all ’players’ as the only possibility, the only reality. The EU defines European identity as something that is provided only within the Union and only to EU citizens, even though Europe does not end at the borders of the Union. However, the EU does have the power to define identity, to set up the rules of a game others have to join. The project offers several layers of reading and understanding. Beyond the declared aim of the game, the deeper aim is to encourage reflection among the human condition in the EU, due to the enlargement of borders and many contradictions existing within rules and matters of fact. It is my intention to make the invisible people among us (immigrants) more visible, involving their personal stories and histories into the game. Europoly encourages us to ask questions about opportunities offered by entering the EU and reflect on the struggle faced by many in responding to certain requirements imposed by EU laws. The project doesn’t intend to provide any answers or judgments, rather it aims to remind us that behind systems of laws there are people living out their everyday lives.

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