“Bidasƨoa” is a project about immigrants and volunteers in Spain. Like part of my generation, I left the Basque Country at the age of twenty to become an immigrant with an EU passport. After two decades living in a foreign country, I consider my experience as an errancy rather than an immigration. Raymond Depardon defined errance as “the search for an acceptable place.”
My rambling has nothing to do with the immigrant’s journey I cross paths every day. The term “Civil Inattention” quoted by Erving Goffman could be used to defined the way we see them,”as if they were not present, like objects that deserve no more than a glance.” However, Spain is a place of passage. France, Germany, UK, The Netherlands, for example,represent the acceptable places that they are seeking to stay. In Akira Mizubayashi’s book, Petit éloge de l’errance, he observes that “you don’t choose where you are born. Parents are not chosen. Genealogy is not chosen. The country is not chosen either. Ethnic and racial origins are not chosen. The time is not chosen, neither the place nor the date of birth, nor a priori the language”. The only thing that differentiates us is the color of our passport.
But as Mizubayashi points out, “beings from elsewhere are not welcome.” It has nothing to do with having the right documentation. “Bidasƨoa” portrays the people who look for and help them. The first step of the project has been covering the Bidasoa river, the natural border between Spain and France.