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L’Europe c’est Deutshland quand tu rate laba tu est foutue mon frère, le reste c’est du fouma-fouma! is a visual documentation of all written forms of language (inscriptions, engravings, drawings, collages, official documents) found by Eliott Déchamboux and Marcel Mrejen in the Koepelgevangenis in Haarlem, Netherlands. The Koepelgevangenis, designed by Willem Metzelaar, served as a prison from 1901 to 2015 and was then used to house asylum seekers (until 2016). The building’s architecture follows the panopticon principle which is based on a design-scheme that allows a single watchman to observe all inmates of the prison. Michel Foucault used and theorized (in Discipline and Punish, 1975) the panopticon schema as a metaphor to understand contemporary power organs in disciplinary societies. Those peculiar architectural dispositions play a decisive role in the organization and use of language inside the prison. As one can be seen at any moment from all sides, the voice is traded for a more discrete yet indelible way of communicating. While the experiences and expressions of the prisoners and refugees possibly overlap, both groups are facing a demand to (re)integrate—to take a defined place within this society and its norms. The walls not only carry their unheard voices but are also the tools and witnesses of modern control infrastructures.


The book features two additional texts: Flame Lix* by David Bennewith and Panoptics by Paul Gangloff.




Eliott Déchamboux

Marcel Mrejen


Eliott Déchamboux

Marcel Mrejen


230 pages

245 × 335 mm



CHF 32.00