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Accepted Paper:

The body as a travel passport. Insights from the italian - france border infrastructure in pandemic time.   
Francesca Lacqua (University of Milano Bicocca) Eloisa Franchi (Università di Pavia Université Paris Saclay)

Paper short abstract:

This paper focuses on French - Italian alpine border, investigating the undocuments migrants' journey, and the enactment of the "health border". It considers how state and local government practices - with the specific role of PT - increase immobilities and the processes of social exclusion.

Paper long abstract:

Covid19 pandemic highlight the strengthening of pre-existing asymmetries (Fassin, 2021), showing the fragility of "right of free movement" notion, in particular at the border, whose presence affects mostly people for whom the movement is existential: undocumented migrants (Tazzioli 2021).

This proposal explores how these processes occur at the French-Italian border in Val Susa. We show the strong impact that mobility measures designed by the State for pandemic government had on the circulation of migrants' bodies.

Infrastructure (Venkatesan et al, 2018) has a crucial role in the reconfiguration of anthropological approaches on politics: configured as ways of exercising and displaying power, systems through which the circulation of goods, knowledge, meanings, and bodies is ensured, but also through which the very threads of power are unraveled (Amin - Thrift, 2017).

The French-Italian border became the epitome of this exercise of power, in particular in zones of intensified governmental control at transportational nodal points, as train and bus stations. In these zones, various dispositives of control are applied to modulate the movement of people (Optiz S., 2016). This involves, i.e., compulsory health pass to access public transport -hardly obtainable by undocumented people-, the increased controls in the railway stations, as well as the decrease of bus runs and their stops near the French-Italian border that caused a general gradual unpredictability of the service. This further highlights how transit places can become a constitutive element of bordering and migration control, and turns once again evident the political dimension of mobility (Cresswell, 2006; Sheller, 2018).

Panel P161
Circulation and governance: state instantiations, movement and connectivity [AnthroState Network]
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -