Look Away and Let Die: Border Violence at the Shores of Europe

Publikation: KonferencebidragPosterFormidling


“The boat drifted SSW for seven to eight days before it encountered a military ship between 3 and 5 April (point E). Despite approaching them in circles and witnessing the distress of the passengers, the ship left without assisting them.” In this description of a boat carrying refugees from Libya to Lampedusa in Italy from the art installation The Left-to-Die-Boat a survivor tells of a meeting with a military boat deliberately ignoring the law of the sea by not rescuing the passengers from the boat. Two later died. The artwork is made by the research community Forensic Architecture as a part of the trial against the responsible border authorities who let the boat run aground. Taking the The Left-to-Die-Boat as my starting point I seek to investigate different forms of border power in relation to EU’s border efforts in the Mediterranean. In the analysis of The Left-to-Die-Boat, I will especially emphasize how border control functions not only as a “top-down” power relation, but as form of control taking form as a social, processual mechanism; as Bordering (Van Houtum & Naerssen 2002; Brambilla 2015, 2017; Mbembe 2018, 2003 (2019)) and as a spatio-temporal entity, as a so-called Borderscape (Mezzadra & Neilson 2013; Brambilla 2015, 2017; Brambilla & Jones 2019). Based on the artwork analysis and the exposé of the two theoretical concept, I want to argue that the installation raises questions to contemporary forms of border control that constitute the European border complex: A complex that operates through inclusion and exclusion at the same time – as a mechanism shaped by law, militarization and identity-processes working by complicating migration routes and look away when casualties show up at border crossings. In conclusion, I seek to discuss how the artwork both shows how the complexity of EU’s border control shields from criticism, and also shows holes of possible resistance against the border control with the aim of changing it.
Publikationsdatookt. 2020
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2020
BegivenhedMarx Nu! 2020: Borders and Boundaries - Copenhagen Business School, København, Danmark
Varighed: 9 okt. 202010 okt. 2020


KonferenceMarx Nu! 2020
LokationCopenhagen Business School