Michel Lorand


The invisible people




In December 1988, the first closed centre for foreigners opened in Belgium after the closure of its borders in 1974: “127”. This number is a sign of the depersonalisation and invisibility that Belgian governments have imposed until today on foreigners seeking a better life. The rejection of those migrants has led to the multiplication of closed centres. There were five of them in 2020, but their capacity and number are constantly increasing. The state has since hardened its rejection of these undesirable people to the point of adopting truly authoritarian measures, organising real manhunts and deciding to imprison families with children again with a view to deporting them. This inward-looking policy is not unique to Belgium. It is common throughout the European Union, which has been transformed into a veritable fortress.
The exhibition THE INVISIBLE PEOPLE, On Migration and Detention Politics at CINEMATEK shows the failure of a calm and fluid management of population movements in the world. At the dawn of climate migration, it bears witness to the blindness and immobility of European policies on this subject. Films, interviews, documents, books and debates allow us to envisage the existence of realistic, fair and humane policies that respect the fundamental right of every human being to mobility.

The invisible people