From Terminal to Border Crossing. Infrastructural Publics of Belonging and Transition
Michael Hieslmair (Tracing Spaces)
Paper short abstract:
In a previous research project, investigating the everyday life of mobilized people at nodes alongside the pan-European road corridors, we strengthened the normality of their movements. With the intense wave of (forced) migration in autumn 2015 already abandoned infrastructures were reactivated.
Paper long abstract:
Passengers travel from node to node—so do refugees and migrants. In a previous research project, investigating the everyday life of mobilized people at nodes alongside the pan-European road corridors, we strengthened the normality of their movements. The most common (historic) places related to the first time of arrival of migrants are (at least in Central Europe) railway stations and coach terminals. Their certain infrastructural-aesthetics still trigger memories and make people frequent these places, gather here and sustain their social networks. But in the course of every event new nodes establish, or old nodes are reactivated. In 2015, at the interim phase of our research project, Vienna had indeed faced an intense wave of (forced) migration, which unexpectedly made our research focus politically hot and timely. To manage the 'wave of refugees' in autumn 2015, the Austrian-Hungarian border station of Nickelsdorf was reactivated as a hotspot and busses became a means for the mobilization of refugees as well. This situation we translated into an animated graphic novel. In contrast to the frozen images of photos, maps, and drawings, animation is perfectly suited for the representation of dynamic movement, rhythms of flow, starts and stops, but also for zooming in and out, for scaling up and down fluidly between a macro and micro-political perception of routes and nodes, while the grade of abstraction defuses several legal-ethical issues related to the photographic or video (mis)representation of people. To access the animation: www.researchcatalogue.net/view/330596/330597
Anthropological border crossings and migratory aesthetics