Clashing Cartographies, Migrating Maps: The Politics of Mobility at the External Borders of E.U.rope
The generative power of mapping speaks to the material effects produced by maps and their capacity to order particular social and spatial relations. In the case of the EU’s external border, cartography is in fact used both as a practice for the control and government of mobility as well as a tool for advocating, facilitating and even embodying, border crossing. This paper engages a series of border mapping examples showing how cartography works on the ground for both the world of migration management and the struggles for free movement. By focusing on the role that maps and mapping practices play within the politics of migration - the contentious field of actions and relations which determines who can move and in what condition – we point to an on-going “clash of cartographies” in the current flurry of charting borders and flows: while some maps operate at the service of the current border regime, other maps aim at counter governmental practices of control. Examining such tensions between cartographies, and the practices they entail, aids in undermining a fixed understanding and a closed spatial coding of borders.
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