Shifting Italy/Libya Borderscapes at the Interface of EU/Africa Borderland: A “Genealogical” Outlook from the Colonial Era to Post-Colonial Scenarios

  • Chiara Brambilla Centro di Ricerca sulla Complessità (Ce.R.Co.) University of Bergamo
Keywords: Border, borderscape, Euro/African border nexus, dis-location, re-location, relational geographies, colonial, post-colonial, oasis-scapes camp-scapes, business-scapes, politics, economic control

Abstract

By adopting the borderscape as “method”, the paper inquires into the Euro/African border nexus by assuming a multi-sited approach, able to combine not only different places where borderscapes could be observed – both in borderlands and wherever specific borderscaping processes have impacts, are negotiated or displaced – but also different socio-cultural, political, economic, and historical settings. From this viewpoint, the paper proposes a shift from exclusively national borders between EU member states and African countries to the multiplying material as well as epistemological borderlands at the interface of their dis-location and re-location, which are producing new forms of borderland in Africa originated by the externalization of European borders. The article sheds light on EU/Africa borderlands, by diving into the Italy/Libya relational geographies from colonial times to their post-colonial configurations. The Italian/Libyan cooperation in border and migration management is relevant indeed to highlight the ambiguous nature of Euro/African bordering practices across the Mediterranean. Italy/Libya borderscapes are investigated by referring respectively to: Libyan oasis-scapes (Murzuq and Kufra oases) and the genealogy of the border variations between Europe and Africa; the externalization of European borders and camp-scapes in Libya; Italy/Libya business-scapes and the double mission of Euro/African borderland between politics and economic control.
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