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   Vacuum to Norway

These Asylum Seekers Lives in a No Man's Land

Issak Kiflu.  Photo: Trond ThorbjørnsenIssak Kiflu has been living in Norway for ten years, but formally he does not exist. He is not allowed to go to school nor to have a paid job. Neither can he get married.

In Norway there are about sixty asylum seekers in the same situation. They are not returnable. They are living in a Norwegian vacuum. Their application was finally turned down more than three years ago. Now they are left waiting, unable to leave and unable to start a new life.

The policy of the Norwegian government is that these "non-persons" should return immediately. But this is not possible. The problem is often that their country of origin is not willing to accept anyone who is forced to go back. Neither will they accept anyone who's identity is uncertain.

Neighboring countries like Sweden and Denmark has found more human solutions. In Denmark the maximum waiting period is set to 18 months provided that the asylum seeker is cooperating to document his or her identity. In Sweden it is four years. In Norway there are no such time limit.

For more background see this feature on being stateless.



| On Stateless Refugees ( | ~ | SOS Rasisme: Ureturnerbare asylsøkere (Norwegian) | ~ | Aftenposten (Norwegian Newspaper): Alem ER ikke | ~ | Antirasisten, 3/01 (560 kB .pdf, Norwegian) | ~ | Antirasisten, 3/02 (837 kB .pdf, Norwegian) | ~ | The 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons |


former featured nothings :

feature24 YEAR OLD GANGA NEUPANE IS STATELESS Like several million persons worldwide Ganga Neupane has no citizenship. Being stateless means not having regular citizenship rights.
featureLOST CHAIR - by Heidi Rødstøl.
Installation in living room, paint on carpet, variable dimensions, 2003.
feature RAISING OF STREET LAMP FOR PLACING OF TIRE - On November 27, 1996, Andreas Slominski upr ooted a lamppost in order to place an abandoned tire around it. The tire was then later stolen.
feature PENTAGON HAS STOPPED ALL REFERENCE TO "NUMBER KILLED" in official releases. The preferred word "casualties" conceals responsibility and makes moral questions into non-issues. Moreover the number of casualties is a non-subject in the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
feature BUY NOTHING DAY - exposes the environmental and ethical consequences of consumerism. ...
feature CREATION OF ANTIMATTER - CERN have announced that they have passed through nature's looking glass and created atoms made of antimatter, or anti-atoms ...
feature REFUGEES ARE NON-PERSONS - taking photographs that could "humanise or personalise" asylum seekers has been banned by former defense minister Peter Reith's office in Australia ...
feature WHAT IS - WHAT IS NOT? - a story about an encounter and about trying to differ between fact and non-fact ...
feature THE RIGHT NOT TO BE BORN - the French parliament has passed a bill that states that "nobody can claim to have been harmed simply by being born". the extraordinary bill was a response to a conviction by the French supreme court that is said to have established the right not to be born ...
feature THE 11,202,803 CHILDREN - who were born out of nothing during the 31 days of Mars 2002 ...
feature NOTHING I KNOW / SOMETHING I DON’T KNOW - by Graham Gussin ...
feature THE POTENT NOTHING OF CYBERSPACE - this virtual reality in which we now are taking part ...

feature THE ACTIVE NOTHING OF TERROR AND RESPONS - the World Trade Center - Afghanistan and on ...

feature NOTHING AT ROOSEUM, Malmö's Center for Contemporary Art, 3 November - 16 December, 2001. works by 35 artists exploring notions of invisibility, imagination and dematerialisation ...

- consisting of two Irish green, empty tents, one raised outside Atelier 35 in Bucharest, and one inside the gallery space ...

- containing, among other things, a motorway, ten tents, a text discussion and an internet diary ...


- suggestions is gratefully accepted!

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