Go Back To Europe

Jacek Zachodny


Jacek Zachodny’s film, ‘Go back to Europe’, presented as part of an installation titled ‘Odwrócenia’ (Reversals) focuses on the global migration crisis and the rising fears in Europe of growing ‘migration pressure’. The film tackles the power of deception in terms of media, emotion and religion. Zachodny takes the migrant crisis which Europe is currently facing and turns it on its head by reversing the roles in order to portray Europeans as migrants escaping humanitarian crises to Asia.

The pressure from the migrant crisis has led to national panic, a loss of empathy, feelings of fear and the need to defend, as well as a loss of faith in the community across many European countries. By reversing the roles, Zachodny hopes that the audience will come to realize that the same reasons and excuses that we hear against migrants coming to Europe will suddenly become distorted. They sound ridiculous, dreadful and petty.

The subtitles of the film are not accurate translations of what the interviewees are saying. In doing this, Zachony is able to highlight the ability the media has to deceive audiences and influence public opinion. ‘Go back to Europe’ shows us that the wheel of ‘karma’ is continuously rotating and that whether we like it or not, we need to have a continuous effort in order to understand the endless cycle of change. By unmasking deceptive powers of the media and by reversing the roles, Zachodny brings us to question: How would we feel if it was us?


text from Political Critique, August 4, 2016, 

Jacek Zachodny (http://jacekzachodny.pl/) was born in Wrocław, Poland in 1969. A graduate of the local Academy of Fine Arts, he also studied Archaeology at the University of Wrocław. He works with installation, objects, painting, video, performance, actions in public space and socio-artistic projects. He has made videos for theatre performances, e.g. The Rainbow Tribune by Monika Strzępka and Paweł Demirski. In his practice he often addresses the issues of memory, past and transience, but above all he is interested in interpersonal relationships. He is a regular contributor to Rita Baum, an art magazine, and author of the book Elektryka duszy [Electrics of the Soul]. He co-runs the ArtBrut Gallery in Wrocław, working with artists with intellectual and motor disabilities.

His works can be found in public collections, including the Zachęta Lower Silesian Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow. He has participated in exhibitions in Poland and abroad, in venues such as BWA Wrocław, Galeria Entropia, Bunkier Sztuki, MOCAK and Galeria Potocka (Cracow). He has also showed his works at the WRO International Media Art Biennale in Wrocław.