Art student sets off on Border run protest
An Art student who has embarked on a 200 mile run along the border to protest against the effects of Brexit on the Irish border will arrive in Crossmaglen this Thursday evening (27th July) before setting off on the final leg of her gruelling long durational run on Friday morning.
Polish native Aleks Stanek, who has lived in the North since 2005, set off on her intrepid endeavour from Muff in Donegal on Saturday and will pass through Crossmaglen, Creggan, Skyhill, Forkhill, Drumintee, Meigh, Cloughoge and Newry en route to her final stop in Warrenpoint on Friday.
The Fine Art graduate, who is commencing her Masters Degree in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London in September, will engage in visible and invisible art throughout her run, “to highlight the invisible border and the potential visible Hard Border with Brexit.”
The run forms 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.”
The project borrows its name from a work of the same title by artist Bas Jan Ader who became lost at sea while attempting to single-handedly sail around the world in a search for the undefined ‘miraculous’.
Throughout the long durational run, the art student will bury the rubble of Belfast and ash tree seeds at unmarked intersections 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.”
The Border Communities Against Brexit group, who are supporting the unique protest and assisting Miss Stanek in the logistics of her journey, are calling on all runners, joggers, cyclists and those who live in the towns and village along the route to come out and show their support for this tough endeavour.
Aleks’ progress can be followed at aleksstanek.com and on facebook.com/aleksstanekva.