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European-African b/or/ders - Back to the future? 
Katrin Sowa (University of Cologne)
Sofie Steinberger (University of Cologne)
Helene Batemona-Abeke (Pamoja Afrika e.V. Köln)
Send message to Convenors
Helene Batemona-Abeke (Pamoja Afrika e.V. Köln)
Lillian Petry
Samy Charchira (Institut für Deutsch-Marokkanische Studien (IDMS))
Public Roundtable
Anthropology (x) Decoloniality & Knowledge Production (y)
Rautenstrauch Joost Museum
Start time:
3 June, 2023 at
Time zone: Europe/Berlin
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

The round table is open for the public, where researchers and socio-political actors critically discuss potential futures and historic continuities of African-European border relations. It accompanies a student/activistic intervention in the anthropological museum of Cologne.

Long Abstract:

This round table acts as an interface between science and public, as it brings together researchers, socio-political actors and activists to reflect on potential futures of African-European border relations. This look into the future certainly must take into account the past and (neo)colonial continuities.The great majority of borders in Africa have forcefully been implemented by European colonialists, without regarding already existing boundaries (e.g. Mbembe 2001). The contemporary sealing of Europe's borders against African migration builds on a long history of racialized exclusion. Again, "open" border developments within Africa are as well shaped by foreign interests. But instead of presenting the continent as well as its inhabitants as passive victims of colonial border relicts or of the EU's restrictive migration policies, African borderland research has been emphasizing the active role of stakeholders (e.g. Nugent & Asiwaju 1996) in border and future-making processes.

Beyond the boundaries between the academic world and the "outside" public, we would like to bring together diverse perspectives to reflect on the following questions: Which ongoing border developments can be observed and/or experienced? How do stakeholders deal with these? Which demands are made from people affected by discriminative border regimes? Where is room for participation? And which alternative future border utopias can be envisioned?

This event is organized as an accompanying programme of the exhibition b/or/der st/or/ies in Rautenstrauch Joost Museum, based on dissertation projects in Morocco, Spain and Kenya in cooperation with Pamoja Afrika e.V. Köln.

Accepted papers:

Session 1