Impossible protest: noborders in Calais

Rigby, Joe and Schlembach, Raphael (2013) Impossible protest: noborders in Calais. Citizenship Studies, 17 (2). pp. 157-172. ISSN 1362-1025

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Since the closure of the Red Cross refugee reception centre in Sangatte, undocumented migrants in Calais hoping to cross the border to Britain have been forced to take refuge in a number of squatted migrant camps, locally known by all as ‘the jungles.’ Unauthorised shanty-like residences built by the migrants themselves, living conditions in the camps are very poor. In June 2009, European ‘noborder’ activists set up a week-long protest camp in the area with the intention of confronting the authorities over their treatment of undocumented migrants. In this article, we analyse the June 2009 noborder camp as an instance of ‘immigrant protest.’ Drawing on ethnographic materials and Jacques Rancière's work on politics and aesthetics, we construct a typology of forms of border control through which to analyse the different ways in which the politics of the noborder camp were staged, performed and policed. Developing a critique of policing practices which threatened to make immigrant protest ‘impossible’, we highlight moments of protest which, through the affirmation of an ‘axiomatic’ equality, disrupted and disarticulated the borders between citizens and non-citizens, the political and non-political.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences
J Political Science
Depositing User: Raphael Schlembach
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2014 08:51
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 19:53

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