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What do we see if we look at the border from the other side?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
Number of Authors: 12019 (English)In: Social Anthropology, ISSN 0964-0282, E-ISSN 1469-8676, Vol. 27, no 3, p. 409-424Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We live in a time of wall fetishism. Never have human beings been so obsessed with building walls as they are today. Walls are, however, age-old. Empires built walls. And if we look closer, we can see that there are still traces of the old imperial visions in the modern borders and border walls. In this essay I will look at the connections of wars and walls, walls and empires. Through a radical historicisation I will argue that there is a link between the installation of border walls (here) and the unsettling of communities (there). The current border regime is part of a larger and older project of colonial accumulation by dispossession and expulsion; stealing wealth, labour force and time. I will also argue that border crossing discloses the cracks in the dominant narration of borders and that travellers without papers denaturalise what are otherwise naturalised borders, and politicise what are otherwise depoliticised borders. I will illustrate this argument by following travellers without papers along the railways in the Balkans; tracing Afghan deportees in Kabul; and following the social life of the materialities used in the oil sites in Iran and in the wall between Mexico and the USA.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 27, no 3, p. 409-424
Keywords [en]
borders, time, unearthing, unsettling, stealing, migration
National Category
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175893DOI: 10.1111/1469-8676.12685ISI: 000487738300002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175893DiVA, id: diva2:1373442
Available from: 2019-11-27 Created: 2019-11-27 Last updated: 2019-11-27Bibliographically approved

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