AAA/CASCA Executive Program Committee
Executive Session - Oral Presentation Session
‘The Balkan route’ figures in many contemporary debates on migration and border crossing to the European Union (EU). The region is characterised in these debates as a transitory corridor, a source of human trafficking, or even as a bedrock of radical Islamic threat on the EU’s immediate external border. These accounts not only demonise particular types of migrants based on categories of racialized and religious difference, but also valorise specific forms of movement, borders and horizons of aspirations oriented towards the EU.
Against this backdrop, this paper traces less salient, and yet enduring horizons of aspirations, well-being, and geographies of mobility. It argues that these orientations are embedded in, and formed by multiple geopolitical/historical entanglements of lives along the Balkan Route traversing multiple spatiotemporal thresholds.
In this paper, I focus on three biographic fragments of ‘movement against borders’, each reflecting a different geopolitical/historical entanglement to elucidate what kind of solidarity these movements engender. Ultimately, my aim is to elucidate shared threads of cultural intimacy and shared practices of cultural circulation that can help us to provincialize and historicise the arguments about Europe, movements, borders and the East-West flows.