Journeys into the (Un)Known

For more than two hundred years Weimar has been a destination for travelers from all over the Earth: in our globalized world, long-distance travel has almost become a matter of course. But even pilgrims in the Middle Ages would cross entire continents. Down through history, explorers such as Marco Polo and Neil Armstrong have shaped our image of this world and beyond. Roman roads, canals, railways and airplanes symbolize the progressive technological advances in travel, and the communication of ideas would not have been possible had people never traveled.
Not every journey is voluntary, however: migrants and refugees have had to flee their homes for many reasons since the dawn of history, and the most horrific variety of »travel« in the 20th century had Auschwitz as its destination. Conversely, travel also helps us overcome political confinements: Freedom of travel was one of the core demands sought by GDR citizens on the path to German unity, and freedom of movement throughout the European Union is one of its greatest achievements. Europe’s travel freedom versus »Fortress Europe« – where the paradoxes of cosmopolitanism and demarcation intersect.