Being, Crossing, & Confounding Borders

July 24, 2017

Our world is criss-crossed with borders. But what happens when those borders begin to entangle and the spaces in-between begin to overlap again? Three contributors to ArtsEverywhere offer contrasting, but complementary conceptual frames for thinking about this. Raphael Daibert, writing about Haitian migration in context of work by photojournalist Pierre Michel Jean, describes the spaces between borders as “a geography of possibility” shaped by human resilience. It is a geography in which micro-politics hold the power—struggles intersect, support each other, mixing and remixing cultures and ways of being as a result of displacement and migration. draftworks architects, part of the “Borders” roundtable convened by The Site magazine, applies the philosophical concept of being a border to understand future possibilities for life in Palestine. They imagine a future hybrid nation called The New Zidonians, comprised of “Palestinians and Israelis who now occupy the spaces leftover from conflict.” Postcommodity’s 2015 artistic installation on the Mexico-U.S. border—a work titled “Repellent Fence”—is a complex negotiation of crossing a border that cleaves Indigenous territories. The right to self-determination (including freedom of movement) is essential to Indigenous ways of being, yet the border not only repels this mobility, but it also suppresses the geography of possibility that takes shape through the mixing of peoples and ideas. As Postcommodity says, “Perhaps the Repellent Fence demonstrates the ways by which the iron wall repels logic and our humanity.” Such is the state of statelessness and state borders.

December 3, 2015

“Repellent Fence” Stares Across the U.S.-Mexican Border

Karina Taylor, New York City 

For four days in October this year, the Mexican-American border featured a curious kind of boundary: a two-mile line of yellow, helium-filled balloons, painted with unblinking eyes, floating 50 feet above the ground. World Policy Journal corresponded with the designers of this “Repellent Fence,” the art collective Postcommodity, on the project’s immediate effect, and on challenging preconceived notions of surveillance,...

March 29, 2017

Current Geographies of Haitian Migration

Raphael Daibert, São Paulo 

An almost uncountable number of Haitian migrants are in transit throughout Latin America at this very moment. From the warm Caribbean waters to the steepest mountains of the Andes, from the tropical forests to the arid Mexican deserts, Haitian migrants are everywhere. Overcoming the limit of what human beings can handle, every day they draw another geography: a geography of...

July 1, 2016

How does the line that defines an area have the power to create and an equally great capacity to divide and destroy?

James Bridle, Athens 
draftworks*, Nicosia & Athens 
Dongsei Kim, Melbourne 
Emma Xin Ma, Toronto 
Gili Merin, Tel Aviv 
Ania Molenda, Rotterdam 
Lada Nakonechna, Kiev 
Evan Pavka, Montreal 
Amrit Phull, Toronto 
Rosa Rogina, London 
Kathryn Schwartzkopf, Seattle 
Miriam Ho, Toronto 
Ruth Jones, Toronto & Los Angeles 
Michael Taylor, Zurich 

 

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