Aleks completes 200 mile border run protest
Art student Aleks Stanek set off from Crossmaglen on Friday morning for the final leg of her 200 mile run along the border to protest against the effects of Brexit on the Irish border.
The Polish native, who has lived in the north since 2005, had already completed the lion’s share of her gruelling endeavour after setting off from Muff in Donegal on Saturday 22nd July and weaving her way along the border across Ireland passing through Crossmaglen on Friday towards Creggan, Skyhill, Forkhill, Drumintee, Meigh, Cloughoge and Newry en route to her final stop in Warrenpoint.
The intrepid protest run formed part of Miss Stanek’s project, entitled “The Search for Miraculous”, which she says aims to defy restrictions of movement and “remembers the border’s turbulent past, as well as the communities for whom change in its status would bring unwanted consequences.”
Throughout the long durational run, the art student buried the rubble of Belfast brick and ash tree seeds at unmarked intersections along the way to create invisible monuments.
“The broken bricks symbolise uncertainty faced by Northern Irish industries following last year’s referendum result. The permanence of borders, whether physical or imaginary, will be reflected by the budding growth of ash tree seeds,” says Miss Stanek.
“Being a Polish national, I hope the run can draw attention to the importance of an open border while leaving out the usual presumptions of bias and tribalism. I also aim to portray freedom of movement as an essential part of the human experience and a birthright rather than privilege of class or statue.”
Aleks was joined on her run by joggers, runners and cyclists from border counties along the way, who turned up in force to support the adventurous student’s protest. Her 200 mile journey came to an end in Warrenpoint on Friday evening where the polish art student received a heroes welcome for undertaking a unique demonstration of opposition against the effects of Brexit for Ireland North and South.