The Promised Land 2013

This month's Europe at a glance, a collection of visual thoughts on Europe and where it is heading - if anywhere.

(click on the image to enlarge)

"BEST COUNTRY TO BE BORN IN 2013 = SWITZERLAND"

...according to the The Economist Intelligence Unit ranking system. 

The highest number of asylum seekers in Switzerland (according to the Neue Zürcher Zeitung of January the 12th, 2013, do come from Eritrea (a country that does not rank within the first 80 countries in the world in order of living standards), Nigeria (ranks 80), Tunisia (ranks 59), Serbia (ranks 54), Afghanistan (does not rank in the first 80), Syria (ranks 73) and Macedonia (does not rank in the first 80). There were 28.600 asylum seekers in Switzerland in the year 2012.

There has always been an often invisible dividing line between human rights and economic reasons for migration, like with the colours of the rainbow. More prosperity elsewhere, means less migration here. Sometimes the position of countries in our global communicative vessel system changes from receiving to sending. This has happened so often in a past nobody wants to remember. How many thousands of people from the Netherlands emigrated right after World War II to Australia, Canada and the United States? Let alone to call to mind the colonial and neo-colonial migration movements many of the European countries have been taken part in.

It needs courage and desperation to leave your home, as most human societies have become used to a sedentary life style and thus develop all kind of attachments to the place where they have been born and raised. Time for The Economist to also publish a list and map of...

WORST COUNTRY TO BE BORN IN 2013.

To make the inhabitants of the high up countries in the Best Country List realise why they have become THE PROMISED LAND.

About the author

Tjebbe van Tijen was curator of the department for the documentation of “modern social movements” at the University of Amsterdam and in the International Institute of Social History.

He works as a multi-media artist under the name Imaginary Museum, making interactive installations to dramatise history. He now works for the School of Creative Media at the City University of Hong Kong developing a visual narrative education system'.

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Tjebbe van Tijen