For their first UK-based residency the founding members of Deep Lab, Addie Wagenknecht and Maral Pourkazemi, were invited to lead an art piece for the inaugural York Mediale festival – an international media arts organisation which celebrates York as the UK's first and only UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts.
During the residency the group of female-identifying artists led by Addie and Maral worked through the effects of immigration policy and the visibility of refugees. “We question the legitimacy of government immigration policy and its economics, its red tape system and its privileges; its seemingly random and arbitrary laws, that hide instead a very timely, clear logic and rationale – that of capital, private interests."
Can you die if you don't exist? is a 10.5 hours durational performance and large scale video work in which artist Tamara Al-Mashouk, one of the five participants, reads out every name and no name of all the women, children, and men who died attempting to claim asylum in Europe since the early 1990s. This data was published by the Guardian in May 2018 and known as The List. It was collated by the Dutch NGO United for Intercultural Action and describes the fate of 34,361 refugees.