Ellen Hey writes poem for work of art ‘The Journey’
The poem ‘Law at Sea’, or ‘roving thoughts’ as Ellen Hey, Professor of Public International Law, calls it is part of the artwork ‘The Journey’ by Rossella Biscotti (Italy). As part of the artwork, Biscotti will sink a large block of marble into the Mediterranean Sea in the spring of 2017.
Artworks of Rossella Biscotti (Italy) are currently on display as part of the exhibition ‘Positions #3’ at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. Biscotti’s work focuses on forgotten social and political events. Based on meticulous research Biscotti reconstructs these stories and brings them back into circulation. Her work ‘The Journey’ reflects on the complex infrastructure and geopolitical circumstances affecting migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.
Biscotti asked Ellen Hey to contribute her thoughts to this unique artwork. In her poem/roving thoughts ‘Law at Sea’, Hey engages with international law as applicable to various acts and objects at sea.
‘Law at Sea’
‘Metamorphosed limestone, or marble, turns to sea, by an act that law metamorphoses into an act of dumping. The act requires a permit, based on international law.
Products cross the sea by plane, ship or pipeline to be traded freely, based on international law.
Fish may be taken from the sea and fishing regulated and subject to a permit, based on international law.
Minerals may be mined from the seabed subject to a permit, based on international law.
Archaeological objects in the ocean are protected, based on international law.
Where you are at sea determines who cares about you dumping, trading, fishing, mining or tampering with archaeological objects, based on international law.
A migrant turns to sea. She needs to get to the other side to apply for a permit that metamorphoses her into a refugee, based on international law.
Who cares about a migrant at sea and why?’
Professor of Public International Law
Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Please find the full poem of Ellen Hey attached at the bottom of this article.