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Walls, Borders, Boundaries

Walls, Borders, Boundaries: Spatial and Cultural Practices in Europe

Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 388
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  • Book Info
    Walls, Borders, Boundaries
    Book Description:

    How is it that walls, borders, boundaries-and their material and symbolic architectures of division and exclusion-engender their very opposite? This edited volume explores the crossings, permeations, and constructions of cultural and political borders between peoples and territories, examining how walls, borders, and boundaries signify both interdependence and contact within sites of conflict and separation. Topics addressed range from the geopolitics of Europe's historical and contemporary city walls to conceptual reflections on the intersection of human rights and separating walls, the memory politics generated in historically disputed border areas, theatrical explorations of border crossings, and the mapping of boundaries within migrant communities.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-505-5
    Subjects: Sociology, Architecture and Architectural History, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-ix)
  5. Contributors
    (pp. x-xiv)
  6. INTRODUCTION: Walls, Borders, Boundaries
    (pp. 1-22)

    Walls are built and then fall, borders are fortified and then shift, boundaries are demarcated and then transgressed. And then they are constructed all over again. As (post) moderns living in an age of globalization, we weary of our seemingly old-fashioned political and market-oriented boundaries: walls and fences are a nuisance to build and maintain, they invite vandalism and intrusion (rather than guarantee privacy or protection), and public surveys often reveal disapproval of national boundaries for moral, aesthetic, and economic reasons.¹ Indeed, recently erected walls and borders intended to sever communities or fortify political and economic boundaries between neighboring countries...

  7. I. City Walls

    • CHAPTER 1 The Dialectics of Urban Form in Absolutist France
      (pp. 25-42)

      At the beginning of the seventeenth century, there were thousands of cities in continental Europe. Old or recent, populated or half-deserted, politically independent or not, practically all continental cities were separated from their surroundings by physical barriers: city walls. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, however, the majority of European cities had lost their fortifications. With scarce exceptions, city walls were nowhere to be found. They had been destroyed—sometimes by literally undermining them and blowing them up—and removed. This process is known as “defortification”— the turning of a city from a walled to an open place.¹ The...

    • CHAPTER 2 The Camp in the City, the City as Camp: Berlin’s Other Guarded Walls
      (pp. 43-60)

      “The camp” and modernity belong together, like twins. Mass society, mass mobility, and mass bureaucratic domination constitute an organic whole, and “the camp” seems to present a corresponding organizational and architectural model for urban modernity. A longitudinal cross section of Berlin offers a case study of this symbiosis, in particular of the developmental arc that camps have undergone since the early twentieth century. Such a chronology, moreover, demonstrates both how enclosed mass camps fuse with “closed” totalitarian societies on the one hand, and how camps may transform, multiply, and diversify in “open” societies on the other. In spite of historical...

    • CHAPTER 3 “Threshold Resistance”: Dani Karavan’s Berlin Installation Grundgesetz 49
      (pp. 61-76)

      The year 2009 marked the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall—as well as the tenth anniversary of a second wall built to secure its remnants. An airy grate (“luftiges Gitter”) shielding the erstwhile “Anti-Fascist Protective Rampart” (the Wall’s official designation in East Germany), this decidedly anti-tourist fortification protects one of the last stretches of the Wall along Niederkirchnerstraße, adjacent to the Martin-Gropius-Bau and the Topography of Terror.¹ During the Cold War it was joked that the first thing Germany would do after the fall of the Wall was build a new one: here, at least, it...

    • CHAPTER 4 Did Walls Really Come Down? Contemporary B/ordering Walls in Europe
      (pp. 77-94)

      Long-lasting: that is how walls are characterized. Yet history has proved that despite their recurrence as a device, they are not unchanging features of the built environment. Scholars have identified specific forms of dividing and bordering that affect not only a city’s structure and functioning but also the nature of urban experiences and, for that matter, theurban conditionitself. In contemporary cities, gentrified and suburban areas, luxury housing enclaves, stigmatized social housing zones, shanty towns, and abandoned areas all correlate with sociopolitical and economic divisions that, together in their disunity, structure the city as a whole. Liberalization policies of...

  8. II. Border Zones

    • CHAPTER 5 Border Guarding as Social Practice: A Case Study of Czech Communist Governance and Hidden Transcripts
      (pp. 97-112)

      České Velenice, a little Czech town on the border with Austria that used to be the industrial suburb of the Lower Austrian town of Gmünd, appears to have been the ideal of a communist border community. Arising from the ashes of the Austrian empire in 1918 after a generous redrawing of the borders between Austria and Bohemia, the town served for over forty years as a small fortress for the Czechoslovak (Socialist) Republic, finding itself after 1948 at the foot of the Iron Curtain and at the hinge between the antagonistic world systems of capitalism and communism. After the communist...

    • CHAPTER 6 A “Complicated Contrivance”: West Berlin behind the Wall, 1971–1989
      (pp. 113-130)

      Writing in the 1960s, the novelist and essayist Wallace Stegner insisted that the postwar history of Berlin cried out for epic literary treatment: “Thegreatbook on Berlin is going to be a sort of Iliad, a story that dramatizes a power struggle in terms of the men who waged it.”² Indeed, the experience of Germany’s once and future capital after 1945 is full of high drama and powerful personalities, from Stalin and Truman to Ernest Bevin, Lucius Clay, Ernst Reuter, Willy Brandt, Walter Ulbricht, John F. Kennedy, and the “daring young men” who flew the Airlift in 1948–49....

    • CHAPTER 7 Moving Borders and Competing Civilizing Missions: Germany, Poland, and Ukraine in the Context of the EU’s Eastern Enlargement
      (pp. 131-150)

      What happens when a frontier moves, especially if that border is the cultural and, for many, civilizational frontier of a supranational entity such as the European Union? How do people and states make sense of political orders when boundaries shift, affiliations change, and new memberships become possible? After the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended, the EU integrated a number of states that had long been hidden behind the effective political and psychological border of the Iron Curtain. As a consequence of this eastern enlargement, the citizens of the East Central European states gained access to the European...

  9. III. Migrating Boundaries

    • CHAPTER 8 Migrants, Mosques, and Minarets: Reworking the Boundaries of Liberal Democracy in Switzerland and Germany
      (pp. 153-172)

      On 29 November 2009, Switzerland’s citizens shocked many of their European neighbors by voting in a referendum to ban the construction of minarets on Swiss mosques. A clear majority of Swiss citizens voted “yes” in the referendum, which the Volksinitiative gegen den Bau von Minaretten (Popular Initiative against the Construction of Minarets, hereafter Volksinitiative) initiated in 2008. The ban on minarets neither ends the construction of mosques or (Muslim) places of worship themselves, nor applies to existing minarets and mosques, but bans the future construction of minarets as a symbol of what some groups deem Islamist or fundamentalist expression. Numerous...

    • CHAPTER 9 Not Our Kind: Generational Barriers Dividing Postwar Albanian Migrant Communities
      (pp. 173-190)

      Europe’s post–World War II history has long been associated with division. The so-called Cold War, pitting the superpowers and their European allies against each other, contributed to Europe’s geographical, social, economic, and ideological division. Often lost in this analysis, however, are the secondary divisions that persisted, expanded, and even outlived the dynamics of the Cold War. This chapter will suggest that studying migration patterns from the “East” to the “West” (in this case Germany) over the entire course of the Cold War not only highlights the methodological pitfalls of reducing this period of European history to a reflection of...

    • CHAPTER 10 Invisible Migrants: Memory and German Nationhood in the Shadow of the Berlin Wall
      (pp. 191-210)

      Çetin Mert, the five-year-old son of a Turkish guest-worker family, drowned in the Spree River on 11 May 1975. The bank from which he fell belonged to West Berlin, but the river itself was part of the German Democratic Republic, even though it was located outside of the Berlin Wall. As a result of this peculiar jurisdictional arrangement, East German border officials did not allow West Berlin police and fire personnel to search for Mert when the latter arrived on the scene. The incident marked a contentious moment in the diplomatic conflicts surrounding the waters between East and West Berlin....

    • CHAPTER 11 Crossing Boundaries in Cyprus: Landscapes of Memory in the Demilitarized Zone
      (pp. 211-234)

      The many ethnic groups that have occupied and governed Cyprus, including Greeks, Myceans, Romans, Venetians, Ottomans, Arabs, and, most recently, British, have left their mark on the language and culture of the island. The island’s overriding identity and majority population views itself as Greek (80 percent), with the largest minority acknowledging its Turkish heritage (18 percent), and the rest identifying as Latins, Maronites, and Armenians (2 percent). Following the Cypriot Greek-led struggle for independence from British colonial rule, which began in 1931, Cyprus has been in a constant state of violent conflict that culminated in 1974 with the invasion by...

  10. Works Cited
    (pp. 235-260)
  11. INDEX
    (pp. 261-268)