Still, I would say nationalism is the last gasp of something from the past. I believe this tribal idea of a country is disappearing. The world has changed so much since the era of the nineteenth century nation state. The way we connect and communicate around the world has been transformed. People are global, conducting transactions in different regions of the world around the clock.

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What would you say are still the biggest flaws in European Unionʹs migration policies?

Abril: We are constantly hearing in Europe that help is required in the countries of origin. Yet, of course, we need to rescue people at sea. We need to come up with a more humane, structured way of entering Europe. We need to initiate exchanges programmes with people in Africa and let them enter Europe to study. We need to give access to people from war zones. But much of what we hear is not based in fact. Thatʹs one of the basic flaws.

Spottorno: We need to drastically curb the colonial economy. Itʹs one of the biggest problems. We all seem to think that colonialism is a thing of the past, but it is not. We maintain colonial relationships with numerous countries. In a corporate context, we are still creaming off the profits. As Guillermo said, co-operation needs to be taken more seriously. But co-operation in the genuine sense of the word – it is not just about sending money to dig wells in the desert.

Abril: One thing that astonished me was the relationship between Europe and Libya. The gas and oil from Libya has continued flowing into Europe, but we are not letting people from Libya in. Capital flows, resources flow, but not people, and that is one thing that we somehow need to resolve. Thatʹs the idea of co-operation. Europe is built on a foundation of economic co-operation and integration. Yet the policy remains imbalanced when interacting with the rest of the world.

Recently you completed a new reportage on Palmyra for the weekly edition of EL PAIS, similar in style to that of "The Crack". Are there any other projects in the pipeline?

Spottorno: We are currently working on a story for an art institute in Austria about the border between Austria and Italy. There are so many things to be said about it from a historical point of view. The focus is once again on Europe and nationalism – and how national identity shapes the world.

Abril: This time, however, we are taking a closer look at the nature of borders. We want to try and explain where these nationalist ideas originate and how the situation can be resolved. Is it possible to leave this sense of border and separation behind? Our story about Palmyra was just this: crossing the border, leaving Europe, to see what is on the other side.

Interview conducted by Naima Morelli

© 2019

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