Accepted paper:

Mobile connections: routes as boundaries, boundaries as places


Katrín Anna Lund (University of Iceland)

Paper short abstract:

This paper follows different routes, roads and paths, to and from and in the region of Strandir, in the north-west of Iceland, in order to examine how they do only connect but also disrupt connectivity by establishing boundaries and mobilising a sense for marginality.

Paper long abstract:

Routes, roads and pathways are usually thought of as connections between and within places as structures supporting increased mobilities and connectivity not the least in relation to places that are defined as marginal, most often seen as lacking connections. Still, as roads and pathways connect they do also cut across, disrupting connectivity and constructing boundaries between and within places mobilising the sense of marginality, as some may feel empowered by it whilst others may need to negotiate and readjust to increased marginality. Thus, the establishment of roads and paths re-orders the mental and material mapping of a place precisely by establishing borders.

This paper follows different routes, roads and paths, to and from and in the region of Strandir in the north-west of Iceland. The region's barren coastal landscape and geographical location by the north Atlantic ocean has always provided it the aura of isolation and marginality although to different degrees depending on changing modes of transport over time. In this paper I shall demonstrate how the region´s boundaries has continuously been shaped and re-shaped. By following different types of routes, using different modes of transport, I examine how the region's marginal position has altered and changed through different kinds of mobile practices during different historical periods. What appears is that whilst routes cut across places, establishing borders, they also contain the narratives of people's mobile connections and disconnections along and across the region and thus they emerge as places in themselves.

panel P55
Mobilities and marginalities