Don’t Cross the Bridge Before You Get to the River took place in 2008 in the Strait of Gibraltar separating Europe and Africa. The Strait’s geographical context, being just 14 kilometers wide at its narrowest crossing, has made it a place where many people attempt to smuggle their way into Europe from Africa. The rough waves particular to this area, however, have also posed serious obstructions for illegal immigrants, many of whom try to cross the Strait in makeshift boats.For Alÿs, “the Strait seemed like the obvious place to illustrate this contradiction of our times: How can one promote global economy and at the same time limit the global flow of people across continents?” To do so, he conducted an ambitious project with the help of children from both sides of the Strait, Spain and Morocco.
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