Backpacker Politics: "Just Cause 11"

We Have deployed one of our agents to bring “Trinketization” to the new world! Last night, as a representative of the Australian Government in exile [a whole other story], I attended the formal send off for the “Just Cause 11” New Europe at Guantanamo project of Thomas Herzen, who has a box [see pic, trinkets in a box, who’d have thought it!] he plans to carry to Guantanamo in a boat filled with backpackers he meets in Jamaica. They will sail to Cuba, where his chosen weapon, with which to scare the American service peronnel away and to liberate the base, will be aggressively loud Beethoven. This seemed to be considered plausible to some of the other dignitaries at the send off, but several of those there I admit were artists who had travelled from north London, without a trinkets pass even [we sent them packing – hi John – The A.G.i. E. would of course use more potent weaponry, including Nick Cave and, well, heat seeking missiles or some such].

Meanwhile, Thomas has been set a secondary mission [by the A.G.i.E], whch is to bring back documentary evidence to substantiate the rumour that the Guantanamo base – that he plans to liberate with the Eroica – was, once, the holiday home of a certain William Randolph Hearst. [His granddaughter Patti is a special emmissary of the A.G.i.E on account of her diplomatic roles in the films of John Waters – yet another story]. Anyway – to the point. Thomas Herzen left for Kingston, enroute by boat to Cuba, adn you can follow his progress over the next few weeks here.

Here is the original project brief: “This is what’s going to happen: On Nov 18, the European representatives, Thomas Herzen and embedded journalist Ulla Hvejsel, leave the Parallel Action Control Room in the House Gallery in London carrying Europe in a box. They head for Heathrow to board an Air Jamaica plane bound for Kingston. On Jamaica they go to Port Antonio (earlier considered the banana capital of the world) on the north eastern coast. From here they set out in a boat and sail towards the American zone of emergency, Guantánamo Bay. In a seaside assault they batter the American soldiers with Furtwängler’s 1944 recording of Beethovens Third Symphony, Eroica. When the Americans have fled, they install the contents of the box on the territory, thus Guantánamo Bay is turned into a huge European, colonial, spatial installation”.

Fat chance! But in the absence of any other successful effort to get the inmates out of Guantanamo (its been four years!) throwing trinkets at them seems useful, even heroic. Go Tom! [Endoresed by the A.G.i.E. on this day, November 19, 2005, Kennington, London].


2 thoughts on “Backpacker Politics: "Just Cause 11"

  1. Brainwaves

    The Parallel Action

    Paul Arendt
    Thursday November 3, 2005
    The Guardian

    Concept A European invasion of Guantánamo Bay
    Creator Thomas Altheimer
    In January 2004, Danish artist Thomas Altheimer and his collective toured Iraq with a box labelled Democracy, offering its contents to soldiers and citizens. This month he plans to invade Guantánamo Bay and claim it for Europe.

    Altheimer’s work, a combination of performance art, activism and mischief, is based on hope and idealism. He is, in his own words, “pointing in directions where reality could follow”. His group’s so-called Parallel Actions are like naivity bombs: a previous project that subverted Denmark’s hardline immigration policies by creating a matchmaking site for foreigners to marry Danes.

    Article continues on Guardian Unlimited Thursday November 3, 2005…


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