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"Borders, vans, deportations; or border politics after Walter Benjamin"

Buses, vans, deportations; Or, border politics after Walter Benjamin.

27 maggio 2024 dalle 16:00 alle 19:30

Aula Gambi, Piazza San Giovanni in Monte 2. - Evento in presenza

This talk proposes a conversation between materialist perspectives in international political sociology (IPS) and certain methods inspired by Walter Benjamin, especially his unfinished Arcades Project. Given his commitment to understanding social and historical change by thinking through everyday objects and artefacts, and thus his resonance with ‘new materialist’ currents, the marginality of Benjamin to IPS debates is perplexing. A conversation with this thinker is therefore timely. In the spirit of the Arcades Project the talk intervenes in debates about migration, deportation and border politics through a focus on one particular object field or ‘convolute': the buses which police and security officials use for raids, relocations and expulsions. Rarely noticed as an element of border infrastructure, what secrets might a study of these buses and vans offer up? What can we learn about border politics from the way activists have made these buses a target for blockades, or the artist’s move to forge a dialectical image out of the bus? What does it mean that these buses are now a focus of human-rights inspection and investigative journalism? As such the paper will both read bordering at the level of the bus and demonstrate the potential of Benjaminian methods for IPS.