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Untamed Borders
Riccardo Badano
Current


Untamed borders is an investigation into the weaponisation of environmental conditions put in place to hinder migrants’ circulations across the alpine arc. By directing migration trajectories outside urban areas, European border agencies intentionally stage the encounter between asylum seekers and the harsh physicality of the Alps: in the last years, hundreds of those who have attempted border crossings, often without any food, water and proper equipment have been severely injured in the confrontation with extreme temperatures. Responsibility for those accidents has been systematically re-directed toward the ‘wilderness’, a shifting definition conceived for the occasion as a ‘space’ outside the domains of politics. This research looks at the interplay between the materiality of the alpine landscape and migration policies to re-position the un-taming of the Alps – the mobilisation of nonhuman actors such plants, animals, and biophysical elements in the making of the border – as a mode of deterring secondary movements of migrants within the European Union.