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Mikel Venhovens - Participant

Panel 10: At the End of the Line – Life On the Margins

Titel:Where one begins, the other must end”: The Material Embodiment
of the Contested De-Facto Nation State.

This paper focuses on the borderlands of the contemporary Republic of Abkhazia, a disputed territory and partially recognized state situated north-west of the Republic of Georgia. I would like to draw attention to the unique position that de-facto or partially recognized states take within the debate on borders and borderlands. The insecure and anxious state in which the borderlands are situated, both from a local perspective and on a more geo-political level, make these particular places deeply interesting. In addition, it could be argued that the borderlands of de-facto states are explicitly meant to be additionally ‘hard’ and immovable, as the ‘insecure, unrecognized state of being’ makes it more important to stress the existence, firmness and cohesiveness of the state. For these entities, there is an existential need to express where one space begins and where another ends, often done by walls, barbed wire, border control and other forms of tangible representations that carry on the narrative of the state. On the other hand, there is Georgia, which carries out the narrative of contested statehood as they see Abkhazia as an integral part of their nation state. Negotiating these spaces seem to be impossible as the diffusion of where one nation state begins and ends, is regarded as a threat directly pertained to both their collective identity and existence.
16 Aug 201718 Aug 2018


ConferenceMEGA SEminar

ID: 116015835