Department of Geography

Past events

At the Makeshift Camp: Interrogating violence and resistance along EU border zones

Wednesday 28 November 13:00 until 15:00
Fulton 110
Speaker: Arshad Isakjee
Part of the series: Geography Research Seminars: Beyond the Fringe

Chair: Michael Collyer

All welcome (Coffee/ Tea and Cake is provided)


Scholars interrogating European border policy over the last decade have been cataloguing harms perpetrated on migrants crossing into Europe and the European Union (Jones 2017, Collyer 2010). These include not only the overt physical violence of border enforcement inside and outside the EU, but also the structural violence which curtails rights to movement (Mountz and Loyd 2014), the violence of inaction that sees migrants left to drown in the Mediterranean sea when they could otherwise be saved (Squire 2017, De Genova 2017) and the withholding of provisions that sustain and protect life and dignity, in a calculated attempt to push refugees and migrants away from Europe (Davies et al 2017). Concurrently, often counter to the prevailing political winds, activism, search and rescue services (Pallister-WIlkins 2017) and charitable efforts continue to assist migrants in the process of crossing borders, with provisions of food and resources for shelter. Drawing upon research conducted in Northern France (Dhesi et al 2018) and the Croatian border, this paper examines the capacities of the resistance against border violence. It does so from the vantage point of informal and makeshift camps, often constructed by migrants themselves along pinch-points of migration routes, near to the borders of the European Union or the edges of the Schengen Zone. The paper examines the various ways in which border violence is perpetrated and experienced in these spaces, and critically examines the extent to which the informal camp can be construed as a space of resistance, as well as of violence.

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By: Martin Wingfield
Last updated: Monday, 19 November 2018