25.02.2009

Im Grenzland (In The Borderland)

Sherko Fatah
Sherko Fatah - Im Grenzland

Novel

Clay-coloured hills at a distance and an empty bird-of-prey-sky above - this is the land, in which the smuggler moves. The way to the treasured goods - Whisky, cigarettes, but above all computers – leads through a minefield. He walks it slowly and cautiously, examining each tuft of grass in order not to step on explosives. Yet this is not the only danger to which he is exposed: he has to pass by border guards, look out for soldiers and at the same time beware of thieves who are out for his money bag.

Thus the careful reading of the landscape - watching out for any signs of change: smoke rising from vacant huts, fresh tyre-prints - becomes a question of survival.

The Home Office insinuate that they know his secret paths ... tolerate them ... but at the same time are watching his thirteen year old son who has got mixed up with the "misguided and agitators" who have "political relations abroad". The smuggler tries to warn his son but he remains uncompromising. So finally father and son are made liable for each other.