Writing a history of the “long summer of migration”: Reflections on activist-academic practices

Abstract: In this paper we reflect upon our work in camps along the so-called Balkan route in 2016, from a perspective that merges activism, academic insights, and political orientations. Our experiences, the materials we collected, and subsequent reflections led to the creation of the exhibition “Yallah!? Along the Balkan route,” which is located at the …

The Black Holes of Lesbos: Border Violence, Asylum and Racism at Moria Camp

Introduction   Following the historic summer of 2015, when nearly 1 million people transited through Greece and overcame multiple border barriers within Europe, Lesbos was rapidly reconfigured as one of the main epicenters of a renewed violent phase of mobility control and militarization through the implementation of the “hotspot approach”. Introduced by the European Agenda on …

Waiting for the Smuggler: Tales Across the Border

In September 2015, the image of three-year-old Alan Kurdi lying on a beach after drowning while trying to reach Greece from Turkey sent waves of  indignation around the world. A few weeks later, equal moral outrage was generated by the suspicions that Abdullah Kurdi, Alan’s father, could have been one of the smugglers who that …

The political potential of responsibility in domestic humanitarianism

This post is part of a series linked to the workshop “Assessing the Anthropology of Humanitarianism: Ethnography, Impact, Critique”. ———————————————– Operation Sovereign Borders Even on a frozen winter’s night, the queue snaked around the corner. Taking seats in the Melbourne warehouse for the prospective volunteer information evening, the chatter died down as the charismatic CEO …

Border walls and fences: an interview with Antonio De Lauri

There seems to be a current international preoccupation with border walls as a form of security and protection – with people both advocating and protesting their construction. However, walls and barriers are not a new phenomenon. What is the continuing historical factor motivating the construction of border barriers? Throughout global history border barriers have had …