Rebellious Movements and Their Control: A Comparative View

 

Panelists:

Caterina Giusa:

“Tunisians from Lampedusa in Paris”: Burning the Borders in Times of Revolution

25,000 to 35,000 Tunisian migrants arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa after the fall of the Ben Ali regime in 2011. Some of the slogans heard in Lampedusa at that time were: “Ben Ali is gone and us too,” “We have done the revolution to be free, and to be free is also to be free to leave.” For some of those young Tunisian harragas migrating, the notion of “burning the borders” was  a way of expressing the social, economic and political claims made during the revolution. My analysis of the links between migration and revolution in the Tunisian context is based on fieldwork I conducted since 2012 in Tunisia, Italy and France, following these migrants’ trajectories. I explore their perception of both migration and revolution, the mobilisation of different actors in France after their arrival, as well as the reconfiguration of the “migration issue” in post-revolution Tunisia.

Jana Haeberlein:

The Vitality of Borders: Bordering Practices in Contemporary Switzerland

The management of borders in Europe is commonly described as having undergone a large-scale shift and “externalization” since the emergence of the Schengen area. Border control posts have been abolished between EU member states and controls were discontinued some time ago. While the “long summer of migration” in 2015 exemplified how and where European borders have been externalized, this externalization only partly accounts for the situation in Switzerland, which upholds the Schengen border regime in a number of ways in global spaces. The case of Switzerland also differs from that of other Schengen members in that it is not a member in the EU Customs Union which has abolished internal customs controls. Thus, Switzerland is still faced with a more or less locatable, material (customs) border that is crossed by various bodies, vehicles and goods, and this border has not ceased to be controlled. I will take these considerations as A starting point to reflect upon the Swiss border as a site of inclusion and exclusion of migrants and discuss current practices of border control of the Swiss Border Guard from an ethnographic perspective.

Barbara Lüthi:

Freedom Riders and the Dilemma of Mobility in 20th and 21st Century U.S.A., Australia and Israel/Palestine: A Transnational Study

This paper is based on a project that provides a historical analysis of the Freedom Rides between the 1960s and the present from a transnational perspective and with special attention to constellations of mobility. Using the example of the Freedom Rides, this project speaks, firstly,  to the pressing questions of the past and present concerning the politics and inequalities of mobilities impacting different social groups in different ways. Secondly, it addresses the increasing interest in questions of the dynamics and social mobilization of social movements in a globalized environment. As an integral part of the Civil Rights Movement in the US, The Freedom Riders of 1961 impacted similar struggles on a global scale in the following decades, which campaigned for the “freedom to move” and against racial discrimination. Movements inspired by the U.S. Freedom Rides occurred in Australia in 1965 and in Israel and Palestine since 2011. So far there has not been a transnational history of the Freedom Rides as a social movement nor have there been any groundbreaking contributions by historians in the field of mobility studies. This project aims to bridge these historiographical gaps. Using a transnational perspective I will explore how the social movement of the Freedom Riders in the United States was adapted, translated, and moved across time and space. I will also investigate the specific constellations of mobility as historically and geographically specific formations of movement.

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