In and Out of Europe As It Is


All Eyes & Ears: The Sensory Work of Border Control
Perle Møhl (University of Copenhagen)

Based on ethnographic fieldwork among border police on four Schengen borders, the presentation explores the linkages and dissociations between human and technological intelligence in the daily work of border and security control.

On the ground where borders are established on a daily basis, identification is a very mundane matter made of human·technological encounters, direct sensory, verbal and affective interaction, ephemeral negotiations and the shorthand scenarization of imagined pasts and projected futures – crafting “plausible stories” through a complex work of human “intuition” and “creativity” for which ID data doubles constitute only the crude starting points.

Displacement and the Creation of Emplaced Activism: Public Interventions on the Walls of a European Border City
Pafsanias Karathanasis & Konstantina Kapsali (University of the Aegean)

Lesvos, one of the entry points for refugees and migrants to the EU, in the north-east Aegean sea, has been a liminal area for thousands of asylum seekers, who cannot leave the island until their applications are processed by the authorities. Through tracing the unauthorized interventions in the public space of the island’s capital, which contribute to the creation of a landscape of displacement, the presentation approaches the agency and practice of local and international support groups, who form an emplaced activism.

Making Home Outside Their Houses: Egyptian Migrant Mothers in Milan and Affective Displacement
Lucrezia Botton (Radboud University, Nijmegen)

Egyptian migrant mothers frequently show pictures of their spacious and well-furnished houses in Egypt, whereas in Milan they live in small and poor apartments, which they leave bare. The way they think of and make use of their houses entails an affective displacement. Yet, if not inside the walls, they re-create a sense of home in the network of affects outside them. This visual intervention aims to incorporate ‘awatif, affections in Arabic, into the idea of home making outside the house, and understands displacement as being both material and imaginative, nurtured by pictures and continuous recalling of another home.

“Who Am I?”: Reimagining Moral Worlds and “I” When Fleeing Homeland
Aslihan Akkaya (Florida International University)

In this study, I analyze the oral and artistic narrations of Turkish asylum seekers and their border-crossing experiences. Specifically, I see their journey to an imagined better life as an event that becomes a ground for their moral experimentation. I argue that border places become liminal zones and moral spaces that create transformative experiences for the displaced individuals. These individuals in the process of displacement found themselves reimagining and reshaping their moral worlds and the locations that they inhabit in these worlds as ethical subjects.

Crimeans Betwixt and Beyond: Navigating Liminality and Making Home in Post-Annexation Ukraine
Nick Massey (University of Amsterdam)

What do you do when your home territory is annexed by a neighbouring state? How do you decide whether to stay or leave? How can you plan for the future? Such questions confronted pro-Ukrainian residents of Crimea in March 2014, following the Russian annexation. Those unwilling to live under Russian rule found themselves in a liminal state, their lives in Crimea disrupted by political upheaval, their future beyond Crimea uncertain. Yet liminality is also a source of agency, and many Crimeans who chose to begin a new life on mainland Ukraine are now moving beyond the ‘betwixt and between’.

Self-Sufficiency for Degrowth Societies: The Finnish Degrowth Movement
Eeva Houtbeckers (Aalto University)

The Finnish Degrowth Movement addresses how to lead a more sufficient life in a society that is based on continuous and exponential economic growth. This short ethnographic film portrays moments from one event and glimpses of people’s lives accessed through the movement. Some attendees strive toward self-sufficiency in food, warmth, or electricity, which enables a partial detachment from paid labour. Yet, their choices entail paradoxes, which this on-going postdoctoral study aims to explore in the wider context of post-growth work in the global North.