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Where do drugs come from?

Research publication & Performative Installation @ Musée Regards de Provence
LES PARALLÈLES DU SUD – Manifesta 13 Marseille

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Over the millennia of our civilization, people have gone through various changes in society, science, culture, religion and philosophy. But what is always unchanged - here and there always appeared particles of society, glorifying spiritual enlightenment, looking for a way out into other dimensions, communication with spirits, awareness of the invisible, expanding the capabilities of the human brain, and so on. Many of them believe that spiritual illumination can be achieved by an altered state of consciousness. Since ancient times, humanity has been trying various natural substances that change the view of the familiar reality. Based on the experience of trial and error, most social structures have come to the conclusion that the use of potent drugs can lead to tragic consequences, therefore in the 20th century we received a list of substances prohibited for sale in most countries of the world. Prohibited for open legal sale. That, naturally, marked the beginning of the market for the closed criminal sale of narcotic substances. The goal of this publication is not the moral aspect of drug use, but a small overview of the paradoxical sphere of the world‘s largest shadow business over the past century and the current state of affairs. Without including the more modern synthetic club drugs in the study, whose consumption in France hovers around one percent of the total population, we will focus on the most popular naturally occurring substances. The main geographical point of our view is Marseille, a port city, which, due to its location, played a large role in the shipment of tons of prohibited substances around the globe and which continues to be the most problematic city in France in issues of confrontation between state law enforcements and drug criminals.