Gala Festive tribute of Europe’s Smugglers

Sunday, 25 June 2023. Ballhaus Prinzenallee, Berlin

On the 25th of June, the anniversary of the awarding of the German Federal Cross of Merit for her smuggling activities to Lisa Fittko, a smuggler in the Third Reich, we would like to honour people whose actions today have contributed to subvert the EU border regime.

The EU demonizes and criminalizes smugglers, and the fight against smuggling consumes significant resources and serves as justification for various measures and repressive actions under the guise of protecting migrants from violence and exploitation. Even within circles advocating for freedom of movement, “the smuggler” often carries a tarnished reputation.

The Berlin Smuggler’s Gala confronts the political narrative and public discourse around the topic of “smuggling” and critically questions: What exactly do we mean by “smuggling”? Who or what is being criminalized? Why is assistance in crossing borders considered morally (and legally) right in some cases and not in others? To what extent does the criminalizing discourse serve as a key stabilizer of the EU border regime?

They will be joined by experts, artists, activists, and their esteemed guests of honor: convicted smugglers.

Dr. Ilse van Liempt,
associate professor at the university of Utrecht, expert for human smuggling

Hamza Haddi,
arrested and imprisoned for smuggling in Greece

Abdel Janrzi and Matteo,
arrested and imprisoned for smuggling in Italy and Slovenia

Mahtab Sabetara,
father sentenced to 18 years in prison for smuggling

Kalina Czwarnóg,
Fundacja Ocalenie, activist at the Polish-Ukrainian and Polish-Belarusian border

Lisa Fittkos,
Bühne der Menschenrechte

Valeria Hänsel,
Medico International


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