Symposium in Manchester: Art and Geopolitical Borders, MMU, 20/11/2015
In recent years there has been a growth in interest in the ways that art practice can both acknowledge and articulate the issues around geopolitical borders. This has become significantly more pressing in the light of developments during the last few months, whereby borders, and the complex situation of the multitude of people crossing borders, have become increasingly visible as urgent political issues. Borders have long functioned as a vital component of state-formation and nation building, a role that continues within the shifting politics of globalisation. We have seen recently that their significance is thus subject to ongoing redefinition through a dynamic between a repressive politics of containment and attempts to challenge this. Within these zones of contestation, relationships between geographies and power become both clearly visible and subject to dispute. And although this functions on one level in terms of collective experience, the effects on individuals are also destructive and traumatic.