In 2014, the artist Adrien Missika flew a small drone across the border connecting the United States to – and separating it from – Mexico. By editing together the footage he had collected, the artist produced a video entitled As the Coyote Flies (Missika, 2014b , see Figure 7.1 ), the central element of an installation entitled Amexica presented at the Swiss Cultural Centre in Paris in 2014 (Missika, 2014a ). ‘Coyote’ is both the desert fox in Spanish and the name that is given to the smugglers on the
‘Not everyone alive in the present is automatically included in its sense of “living” or “present”.’ This quotation from Esther Peeren's book
The Spectral Metaphor
offers a thought-provoking frame for ‘Borders’, the theme of our next three chapters, in which migration into the UK and US vividly embodies colonialism's afterlife.
The process of crossing a country's border is experienced very differently by travellers, depending on what part of the world you are from. EU
Bordering intimacy is a study of how borders and dominant forms of intimacy, such as family, are central to the governance of postcolonial states such as Britain. The book explores the connected history between contemporary border regimes and the policing of family with the role of borders under European and British empires. Building upon postcolonial, decolonial and black feminist theory, the investigation centres on how colonial bordering is remade in contemporary Britain through appeals to protect, sustain and make family life. Not only was family central to the making of colonial racism but claims to family continue to remake, shore up but also hide the organisation of racialised violence in liberal states. Drawing on historical investigations, the book investigates the continuity of colonial rule in numerous areas of contemporary government – family visa regimes, the policing of sham marriages, counterterror strategies, deprivation of citizenship, policing tactics, integration policy. In doing this, the book re-theorises how we think of the connection between liberal government, race, family, borders and empire. In using Britain as a case, this opens up further insights into the international/global circulations of liberal empire and its relationship to violence.
This interdisciplinary volume explores the role of images and representation in different borderscapes. It provides fresh insight into the ways in which borders, borderscapes and migration are imagined and narrated by offering new ways to approach the political aesthetics of the border. The case studies in the volume contribute to the methodological renewal of border studies and present ways of discussing cultural representations of borders and related processes. The case studies address the role of borders in narrative and images in literary texts, political and popular imagery, surveillance data, video art and survivor testimonies in a highly comparative range of geographical contexts ranging from northern Europe, via Mediterranean and Mexican–US borderlands to Chinese borderlands. The disciplinary approaches include critical theory, literary studies, social anthropology, media studies and political geography. The volume argues that borderlands and border-crossings (such as those by migrants) are present in public discourse and more private, everyday experience. This volume addresses their mediation through various stories, photographs, films and other forms. It suggests that narratives and images are part of the borderscapes in which border-crossings and bordering processes take place, contributing to the negotiation of borders in the public sphere. As the case studies show, narratives and images enable identifying various top-down and bottom-up discourses to be heard and make visible different minority groups and constituencies.
This book mobilises an abolitionist approach to border politics, with a focus on Europe. It argues that a critique of bordering mechanisms implies challenging the detractive logics of right, according to which upholding migrants’ rights is to the detriment of citizens’ rights. It uniquely combines carceral abolitionism literature, Black abolitionism and critical migration scholarship in order to question the acceptability and desirability of borders. Drawing on W. E. B. Du Bois’ concept of ‘abolition democracy’, it argues that border abolitionism means much more than calls for abolishing borders; rather, it involves rendering borders obsolete and articulating border struggles with other struggles for social justice. The book first investigates the confinement continuum that migrants are targeted by, drawing attention to hybrid spaces of confinement and to invisible forms of exploitation in refugee camps. Building on archival research and empirical material collected at the French–Italian Alpine border, the book then illustrates that an abolitionist view entails retracing the history of past struggles and how the memory of these have shaped current solidarity movements. Border abolitionism pushes us to rethink the right to mobility beyond an individualistic framework and to conceive it as part of struggles for the commons.
The subject of this volume is situated at the point of intersection of the
studies of medicalisation and border studies. The authors discuss borders as
sites where human mobility has been and is being controlled by biomedical means,
both historically and in the present. Three types of border control technologies
for preventing the spread of disease are considered: quarantine, containment and
the biomedical selection of migrants and refugees. These different types of
border control technologies are not exclusive of one another, nor do they
necessarily lead to total restrictions on movement. Instead of a simplifying
logic of exclusion–inclusion, this volume turns the focus towards the
multilayered entanglement of medical regimes in attempts at managing the
porosity of the borders. State and institutional responses to the COVID-19
pandemic provide evidence for the topicality of such attempts. Using
interdisciplinary approaches, the chapters scrutinise ways in which concerns and
policies of disease prevention shift or multiply borders, as well as connecting
or disconnecting places. The authors address several questions: to what degree
has containment for medical reasons operated as a bordering process in different
historical periods including the classical quarantine in the Mediterranean and
south-eastern Europe, in the Nazi-era, and in postcolonial UK? Moreover, do
understandings of disease and the policies for selecting migrants and refugees
draw on both border regimes and humanitarianism, and what factors put limits on
the technologies of selection?
This book is a theoretical and ethnographic study of the shifting border between the Republic of North Macedonia and Greece. The central argument is that political borders between states not only restrict or regulate the movement of people and things but are also always porous and permeable, exceeding state governmentality. To support this argument the book draws on scholarship from geology that describes and classifies different kinds of rock porosity. Just as seemingly solid rock is often laden with pores that allow the passage of liquids and gases, so too are ostensibly impenetrable borders laden with forms and infrastructures of passage. This metaphor is theoretically powerful, as it facilitates the idea of border porosities through a varied set of case studies centered on the Greek–Macedonian border. The case studies include: the history of railways in the region, border-town beauty tourism, child refugees during the Greek Civil War, transnational mining corporations and environmental activism, and, finally, a massive, highly politicized urban renewal project. Using interdisciplinary frameworks combining anthropology, history, philosophy, and geology, the book analyzes permeations triggered by the border and its porous nature that underline the empirical, political, and philosophical processes with all their emancipatory or restrictive effects.
Film and television offer important insights into wider social outlooks on borders in France and Europe. Screen borders: From Calais to cinéma-monde undertakes a visual cultural history of contemporary borders and border outlooks through a film and television tour of Europe. Drawing on examples produced primarily since 2004, the book traces the on-screen borders of Europe from the Gare du Nord train station in Paris to Calais, London, Lampedusa, and Lapland. It contends that different types of mobilities and immobilities (refugees, urban commuters, tourists) and vantage points (from borderland forests, ports, train stations, airports, refugee centres) are all part of a complex French and European border narrative. It also builds on scholarship on the intersection of cognitive mapping and screen media to argue that films and, in particular, series function as a form of contemporary map that allows viewers to grasp shifts in geographic and political landscapes. Screen borders draws on cultural studies, geography, and film theory to analyse a corpus of film and television case studies assembled under a wilfully broad cinéma-monde framework. It covers a wide range of examples, from popular films and TV series (The Tunnel) to auteur fiction and documentaries by well-known directors from across Europe and beyond, such as Claire Simon, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Tony Gatlif, and Robert Guédiguian.
Borders of Desire takes a novel approach to the study of borders: rather than seeing them only as obstacles to the fulfilment of human desires, this collection focuses on how borders can also be productive of desire. Based on long-term ethnographic engagement with sites along the eastern borders of Europe, particularly in the Baltics and the Balkans, the studies in this volume illuminate how gendered and sexualized desires are generated by the existence of borders and how they are imagined. The book takes a performative approach, emphasizing not what borders are, but what borders do – and in this case, what they produce. Borders are thus treated less as artefacts of desires and more as sources of desire: a border’s existence, which marks a difference between here and there, can trigger imaginations about what might be on the other side, creating new desires expressed as aspirations, resentments, and actions including physical movements across borders for pleasure or work, while also as enactments of political ideals or resistance. As the chapters show, sometimes these desires spring from orientalising imaginaries of the other, sometimes from economically inspired fantasies of a different life, and sometimes from ethnosexual projections or reimaginings of political pasts and futures. Taken as a whole, Borders of Desire offers new perspectives on the work borders do, as well as on the gendered and sexed lives of those in and from the eastern borders of Europe, and the persistent East/West symbolic divide that continues to permeate European political and social life.
Welcome and La Graine et le mulet
e travel now to the borders of metropolitan France for two
films which place the dynamics of language and power at their
heart: Philippe Lioret’s 2009 Welcome and Abdellatif Kechiche’s
2007 La Graine et le mulet. Each of these films is located on a coastal
border of the Hexagon, yet despite their French settings, their narratives involve a decentring of the French nation. In its depiction of
a Kurdish migrant desperate to reach British shores, Welcome offers
an alternative view of the migrant experience