A Seventh Man by John Berger

By John Berger

Why does the Western international glance to migrant workers to accomplish the main menial initiatives? What compels humans to go away their houses and settle for this humiliating scenario? In A 7th Man, John Berger and Jean Mohr come to grips with what it really is to be a migrant worker—the fabric conditions and the internal experience—and, in doing so, show how the migrant isn't really quite a bit at the margins of contemporary lifestyles, yet totally critical to it. First released in 1975, this finely wrought exploration continues to be as pressing as ever, featuring a style of residing that pervades the nations of the West and but is excluded from a lot of its tradition.

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He did not ask why. He was a newly arrived migrant who could not afford not to take a taxi and could not afford to argue. He too had crossed the frontier. From Istanbul the majority of migrants go to Germany. Their crossing of the frontier is officially organized. They go to the Recruitment Centre. There they are medically examined and undergo tests to prove that they possess the skills which they claim to have. Those who pass, sign a contract immediately with the German firm which is going to employ them.

The inhabitant of the modern metropolis tends to believe that it is always somehow possible to scrape a bare living off the land - unless it is a desert: or a dust bowl. The belief is part of the Romantic idealization of Nature, encouraged by the fact that the city lives off a surplus transported from the countryside and amassed in the city where it suggests the wealth of a cornucopia. The belief is far - in every sense - from the truth. Nature has to be bribed to yield enough.

Metaphor is needed. Metaphor is temporary. It does not replace theory. 45 The migrant takes with him his own resolution, the food prepared in his home, which be will eat during the next two or three days, his own pride, the photographs in his pocket, his packages, his suitcase. Yet his migration is like an event in a dream dreamt by another. As a figure in a dream dreamt by an unknown sleeper, he appears to act autonomously, at times unexpectedly; but everything he does - unless he revolts - is determined by the needs of the dreamer's mind.

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