Visual Images of Framing Borders from Migration to Pandemic Crises

Keywords: activism, border, crisis, pandemic, protest, re-territorialisation, visual evidence


Representations of critical geography and border studies have developed concepts and methodologies for exploring the multifaceted and contradictory image of contemporary borders. Artists, scholars and social activists show increased interest in the narrative and visual documenting of border’s closures. The border’s visuality becomes a supporting argument for dissent and protest, giving the ‘visual evidence’ of the extremely quick border’s re-territoriality. As a result, important events allow one ‘to extracts sameness even from what is unique’ (W. Benjamin). The mass migration and the pandemic return us to the reality of the human world with their non-freedom and illness. In the migration case, Europe has dealt with an ‘alien body’, and in the pandemic, with an ‘infected or sick body’. The relationship between the image and the viewer is an important starting point in the representation of mass migration and pandemic. Mitchell’s metaphor of ‘live images’ help us better understand the sense and reasons of new biological and politic events. Nowadays, the development, materialisation, and embodiment of European borders are the stable visual symbol of our existence.

Reflections on Pandemics and Climate Change