Europe’s borders in 2017: a visual review

Trumpean walls, Libya’s new slaves, Frontex vs NGOs, the Irish/Brexit border conundrum, the permanence of temporary checks at internal frontiers… These are some of the themes that defined European borders in 2017. Here is a visual review of the year that has just passed.



Not just a US thing: poll finds European support for Trump-like refugee ban








The time is not ripe: Schengen temporary border controls extended








Slave trade at Europe’s outskirts








Drama! Frontex vs NGOs, or who is making Europe’s migration crisis worse?








Rebel rebel…Denmark says no to lift temporary border controls








At last! Visa-free travel for Ukrainians to the EU








EU naval mission in Med: really helpful?








They did it at last… Austria starts checks at Italian border (or did they)?








“Temporary”? EU to allow Schengen border controls for up to three years








Romania’s (ruined) Schengen Plans: again, not the right time








 Celebrating 10 years of Schengen in Eastern Europe








May the force be with you: Brexit and the Irish border crucible









Mapping Schengen Art – new entries

Here is the latest instalment of Schengen Border Art, an ongoing project in which I map the multifarious ways in which the Old Continent’s (real and imaginary) frontiers have been represented/performed/subverted through creative performances. Enjoy!



Les Exilés

Didier Viode

(Painting, 2017)






Europe’s New Borders

Rasmus Degnbol (2016, photos)






For the Right to Have Rights!,

Castaway Souls of Sjælsmark/Denmark (2016, theatre performance)






The Crossing

George Kurian (2015, documentary)






The Land Between

David Fedele (2013, documentary)








Performing Borders Study Room Guide

Alessandra Cianetti (2016, book)





Mobility and Migration in Film and Moving Image Art: Cinema Beyond Europe

Nilgün Bayraktar

(2016, book)







Europe’s borders in 2016: a visual review

2016, another year of turmoil on the Old Continent’s frontiers… Here is a visual summary of what happened.



Schengen (still) in crisis: internal borders across the EU reinstated









The closing of the Balkan route: migrants stranded in Greece








Nato new mandate: refugees? Alliance vessels in the Mediterranean

Group ready and in place to provide their contributions to the other actors. The units of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) are conducting drills as part of NATO's participation in the international efforts to cut the lines of illegal trafficking and illegal migration in the Aegean Sea.



Schengen under further strain: tighter border security after Brussels attacks










First refugees under EU-Turkey deal land in Germany









Bad omen: Schengen European Museum ceiling collapse








Brexit dixit: harder borders in the UK?   









The Great Wall of Calais: work on the latest European barrier begins …









Frontex redux: The new European Border and Coast Guard launched








Calais’ Jungle is no more…









Migrant deaths in the Mediterranean at a record high


Europe’s borders in 2015: a visual review

Undoubtedly this has been an annus horribilis for European borders. Here are some visual highlights of the last 12 months…


February 2015

The Other Exodus: Kosovars heading North

The other exodus - Kosovar heading north - February Getty

April 2015

Sunk: the deadliest drowning in the Mediterranean (so far)

Sinking off Malata -April Reuters

April 2015

Calais’ waves: migrants try to enter the Eurotunnel

Eurotunnel April

April 2015

All along the watchtower: Poland proposes border posts around Kalingrad 

Poalnd-Kalingrad watchtower proposal April- Reuters

April 2015

Born to be wild: Pro-Putin bikers stopped at Polish border

Pro puting bikers

June 2015

Terra nullius: migrants stranded at Italy-France border

migrants stranded -italy france border June Reuters

August 2015

Greek tragedies: migrants landing in Lesbos

To Lesbos  oct 2 2015 - Reuters

September 2015


Aylan september 2

September 2015

No (Of)fence: migrants making their way trough Serbia-Hungary border

Hungary border fence september

September 2015

Tripping: foul play at the Hungarian border

Trippincamerwona sept Getti image

September 2015

The long march: migrants heading to Austria

HUngarain -Austrian border


September 2015

Guardian Angel(a): Germany opens the doors to migrants



November 2015

Suspended! Schengen area under pressure after Paris attacks

French italian border after Paris Nov


December 2015
Øresund blues: Sweden closes its border with Denmark

Sweden closes Oresund bridge with Denmark Dec- Getty



European borders in 2016?

Schengen future

Mapping Schengen Art – Part VII

Here is the seventh instalment of Schengen border art, an ongoing project in which I map the multifarious ways in which the Old Continent’ (real and imaginary) frontiers have been represented/performed/subverted.


Freedom Bus Project – Crossborder – International Network of History and Art (2015)


Art Bridges Europe – AA.VV. (Itinerant multimedia project 2015)


Residenzpflicht – The invisible borders – Philipp Kuebart (2012-14, exhibition)






The Mediterranean Tunnel  – MTO (street art, 2015)

Med tunnel





Immigration –  Daniel Garcia (2015; mixed media)








Surprising Europe – African migration experiences (multimedia project ; 2013)


Breaching Borders: Art, Migrants and the Metaphor of WasteSteyn and Stamselberg (book; 2014)
Breaching borders




Mapping Schengen Art – Part VI

Here is the sixth instalment of Schengen border art, an ongoing project in which I map the multifarious ways in which the Old Continent’ (real and imaginary) frontiers have been represented/performed/subverted.

White Crosses – Centre for Political Beauty (Art installation, 2014)


Bordergame – National Theatre Wales (2014, live/online performance, role-play)

Bordergame by National Theatre Wales

Borrando La Barda/Erasing the Border – Ana Teresa Fernandez (2001, visual performance)

EU-MAN – European Union Migrant Artists Network (1997)

EU- Man pic

And to conclude, some Schengen pop culinaria…

Schengen Restaurant – Delhi

The Indian Schengen

The Indian Schengen

Echoes of Europe in a review of Delhi’s Schengen restaurant:

“Schengen is unmissable, with its bright lights, all-white exterior… (…). Yet as you enter there is a nagging sense that there is way too much space. (…) Schengen is a massive space to fill…”

Europe’s borders in 2014: a visual review

It’s been an eventful year for border-related matters in Europe. Here are some visual highlights of the last 12 months…

February 2014

EUhh! The Swiss vote no to more European migrants

Eu Swiss referendum

March 2014

Crime(a) and punishment: Russian crimeans can’t apply for Schengen visas

Crimea Schengen 2

May 2014

All’s quiet on the Eastern front: Polish-German border 10 years after enlargement

Polish-German border

October 2014

Surreal Melilla: Golfers vs migrants in the Spanish enclave

Melilla vs golfers

October 2014

Parking Lot Desperation: Syrian cars at Turkish border near Kobani

Kobani cars

November 2014 

The new marshmallows: ISIS fighters burn French passports

December 2014

The answer my friend…: anti-migrant Calais fence blown by the wind

Calais fence

January-December 2014

Mediterranean Blues: more boats, rescues and drownings…

Mediterranean rescue

See you all in 2015!!!

Mapping Schengen Art – Part V

Here is the fifth instalment of Schengen border art, an ongoing project in which I map the multifarious ways in which the Old Continent’ (real and imaginary) frontiers have been represented/performed/subverted..

Isaac Julien – Western Union: Small Boats (The Leopard) (Video Installation, 2014)

Isaac Julien, “Western Union Series no. 1 (Cast No Shadow)”

Mimmo Paladino – Porta di Lampedusa, Porta D’Europa (sculpture, 2008)

Paladino Lampedusa

Lena Malm, Sarah Green – Borderwork: A visual journey through periphery frontier regions (2014 photo-book)


The Splendours and Miseries of the Schengen Zone (theatre performances, Riga, 2014)


Schengen Schege (band, Brussels)

Malik Nejmi  – “4160″ (video installation, 2014)

Mapping Schengen Art – Part IV

Here is the fourth instalment of Schengen border artan ongoing project in which I try to map the multifarious ways in which the Old Continent’s (real and imaginary) frontiers have been represented/performed/subverted.


Blue in Morocco – Blue (2012, wall art)

Blue artist





Caution border – AA.VV. (2009, installation)

Brussels - art 2







Without borders? – Kontekst and h.arta (2009, exhibition)










Undocumented Apparel – Julio Salgado (2012, illustrations)







Schengen-Funk – Sprutbass (2013, music)












Mapping Europe’s border art – Part III

Here is the third instalment of Schengen border art, an ongoing project in which I try to map the multifarious ways in which the Old Continent’s (real and imaginary) frontiers have been represented/performed/subverted.


Schengen – Helmy Nouh (2013, film)


Schengen film





Migrants moving history: Narratives of diversity in Europe (2007, documentary)


Migrant Moving history







The list – Banu Cennetoglu (2006, installation)







Permanent Waiting Room (2008, Installation)




Melilla – Flo Razowsky (2007, photos)




New Voices from Europe and Beyond’ – ARC Publications/ Literature Across Frontiers (Poetry Anthology Series)









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