Today, more people than ever are fleeing persecution and war. Over 68 million people are on the move worldwide, according to the UN’s latest figures. With his new book “Migration as Avant-Garde”, Michael Danner delivers a moving, critical, and thought-provoking contribution to the current public debate. He skillfully deploys a variety of elements and combines his own photos and texts with historic images. The result is a consistent but multifaceted narrative, which is frequently deconstructed both in terms of design and content.
While the title at first seems somewhat bewildering, it becomes self-explanatory in the course of reading the quotations, interspersed throughout the book, from Hannah Arendt’s 1943 essay “We Refugees”. The events that Arendt wrote about more than seventy years ago – giving up one’s home, one’s friends, family, and language – are more pressing today than ever before. In search of progress, driven by the desire for a better future, and risking their lives, people both then and now hit the road, break through physical and psychological boundaries, and thus provide our society with new perspectives and ways of thinking.