Walls and Fences: A History of Protection?

In the proportion it has nowadays gained, the wall is a unique object in contemporary geopolitical configurations of the world. But it is also an artefact rooted in ancient times that has worked to claim territories, to separate populations, to govern mobility and to categorize individuals and groups.

Political concerns about putting limits to the circulation of people, define an “inside” and “outside,” and manifest actual power are major elements to be identified behind the decision of enclosing territories. In post WWII Europe, collective imaginary was moulded for decades by the Berlin Wall, the emblem of separation inherently linked to the political and cultural universe of the Cold War era.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, border barriers have multiplied as never before, politically and geographically extending the “grey zones” in which securitarian regimes produce a suspension of legal protection for refugees and (irregular) migrants. The progressive fortification and militarization of borders signal a new phase in the history of the nation state and sovereignty struggles, with severe political, environmental and human costs.

Antonio De Lauri (Senior Researcher, CMI) with discussant Elina Troscenko (PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, UiB) & Siri Gloppen (Professor, Department of Comparative Politics, UiB) as moderator.

Coffee & croissants will be served!

Free and open to all.