The Art of Bordering, MAXXI, Rome, 2014

The Art of Bordering: Economies, Performances and Technologies of Migration Control

MAXXI, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts
October 24-26, 2014

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The Art of Bordering is an art-science event merging an academic conference and an exhibition in order to discuss the material and symbolic construction of the Mediterranean as a border zone, the governance and politicization of migration control, the strategies of adaptation, contestation and subversion of “Fortress Europe” developed by migrants and European citizens.

During three days, Italian, French, German, and British academics, journalists and artists debate how new technologies, geopolitical conflicts and socio-economic inequalities have transformed both migration flows and the material, political and symbolic dimensions of borders in the 21st century.

The Art of Bordering will compare the different and overlapping ways in which art, technology and the social sciences address contemporary bordering dynamics. This strategic comparison aims to highlight the different and interrelated ways in which borders have become strategic places for the performance and observation of the symbolic representations, political agencies and governmental techniques at work in contemporary neoliberal societies.

By enabling discussions between academics, artists and the public, this conference/exhibition will facilitate the exchange between the different approaches, tools and devices through which border processes may be represented, deciphered and deconstructed. The debates, links, quotations, transfers and exemplifications, will also help problematizing the boundaries existing between these fields of knowledge and practice.


Friday 24 October 2014

MAXXI Gallery

16:00-17:00 – Multiple screening

Borders (2010), a video of an animated pencil drawing, by Simona Koch
The Texas Border (2011), a video by Joana Moll & Heliodoro Santos, Partire, pictures by Heidrun Friese


Les Messagers (The Messengers) (2013, 66 min), documentary by Laetitia Tura and Hélène Crouzillat. MAXXI B.A.S.E., Sala Graziella Lonardi Buontempo


Welcome by Hanru Hou and the organisers of The Art of Bordering


Presentation and screening of Liquid Traces: Investigating the Deaths of Migrants at the EU’s Maritime Frontier (2013 – 17min) by Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani


Presentation and screening of Samira (2013 – 26 min) by Nicola Mai


Presentation and screening of Io Sto con la Sposa / On The Bride’s Side (2014 – 90min) by Antonio Augugliaro, Gabriele Del Grande and 
Khaled Soliman Al Nassiry.


Q&A with the public

Saturday 25 October 2014

MAXXI B.A.S.E. Sala Graziella Lonardi Buontempo

9:30-10:00 – Introduction

10:00-11:30 – Session 1 – Rebordering Migration in Times of Crisis

Corrado Bonifazi – Istituto di Ricerche sulla Popolazione e le Politiche Sociali, Rome, Italy
Crisis and Migration in Italy: the Reshaping of a Mediterranean Border of the EU

Lucio Caracciolo – LIMES – Rivista italiana di geopolitica, Rome, Italy
Does Italy still have borders?

Virginie Baby Collin – TELEMME, AMU-CNRS, Aix en Provence, France
Staying, Returning, Leaving Elsewhere? Latin-American Migratory Fields and Migrant’s Strategies in the Context of Spanish Crisis


Isabelle Arvers, artist and curator
Close the camps (video 10 min), data-visualization

12:30-13:30 – Discussion

Chair and discussant: Giusy d’Alconzo, Medici Contro la Tortura / Doctors Against Torture, Rome.

15.00-16:30 – Session 2: Political Economy of Border Management

Elena Dell’Agnese – University of Milan Bicocca, Italy
From Border Music to Borderless Music

Steve Wright – Leeds University, United Kingdom
Cashing in on Fears of Mass Migration- The Political Economy of EU Border Management

Federica Infantino – Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
What does migratory ‘risk’ mean? Decision-making in three visa sections in Morocco

16.30-17:30 – Coffee Break and Artwork Presentation

Stones and Nodes: the Working Out of the Separation between Israel and Palestine, an art-science work by Cédric Parizot – IREMAM, CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université, Antoine Vion – LEST, CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université, Mathieu Coulon – LAMES, CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université, Guillaume Stagnaro – ESAAix (2014)

17:30-18:30 – Discussion

Chair and Discussant: Giuseppe Sciortino – University of Trento, Italy


Les Messagers (The Messengers) (2013, 66min), documentary by Laetitia Tura and Hélène Crouzillat

20:10-21:45 – Multiple screening, MAXXI Gallery

Borders (2010), a video of an animated pencil drawing, by Simona Koch
The Texas Border (2011), a video by Joana Moll & Heliodoro Santos
Partire, pictures by Heidrun Friese


Io con la sposa by Antonio Augugliaro, Gabriele Del Grande and 
Khaled Soliman Al Nassiry (trailer with Italian subtitles),
Liquid Traces by Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani (17 minutes),  Samira by Nicola Mai (26 minutes)

Sunday 26 October 2014

MAXXI B.A.S.E. Sala Graziella Lonardi Buontempo

10:00-11:30 – Session 3: Formal and Informal Border Practices

Barbara Sorgoni – University of Bologna, Italy
Bordering Asylum Rights: Narrative Credibility and the Assessment of Truth

Thomas Cantens – CNE, EHESS-Aix-Marseille Université, France/WCO, Bruxelles, Belgium, Comparing Borders:  from tracing to measuring

Chiara Brambilla – University of Bergamo, Italy
Navigating the Euro-African Border and Migration Nexus Through the Borderscape Lens

11.30-12:30 – Coffee Break and Artwork Presentation

Emborders: Challenging Sexual Humanitarianism through Qualitative Research and Experimental Filmmaking, an ethnofiction by Nicola Mai, LAMES, Aix-Marseille University, France and London Metropolitan University, London.

12:30-13:30 – Discussion

Chair and discussant: Heidrun Friese, Technische Universität Chemnitz, Germany

15:00-17:00 – Final Round Table

Jean Cristofol – Higher School for Art, Aix-en-Provence
Camille Schmoll – Université Paris VII Denis Diderot, France
Heidrun Friese – Technische Universität Chemnitz, Germany
Filippo Celata – Università La Sapienza, Rome


A project of the MAXXI, the Institut Français d’Italie and the IREMAM (Aix Marseille Université), organized by Cédric Parizot, Filippo Celata, Raffaella Coletti, Heidrun Friese, Nicola Mai, Alessio Rosati, Benoit Tadié, Antoine Vion. Curator: Isabelle Arvers. Coordination: Clémentine Verschave.


In partnership with the LabexMed program (Aix-Marseille Université, Fondation A*MIDEX), Dipartimento MEMOTEF (La Sapienza), le Laboratoire de Sociologie du Travail (CNRS, Aix Marseille Université), Laboratoire Méditerranéen de Sociologie (CNRS, Aix Marseille Université), Temps, Espaces, Langages, Europe Méridionale – Méditerranée (CNRS, Aix Marseille Université), Ecole Supérieure d’Art d’Aix en Provence, PACTE (CNRS ; Université de Grenoble), Alliance Athena


Download the report of the conference (FR) by Camille Schmoll (Université Paris VII Denis Diderot)