A Necessary Utopia: Rethinking Borders (November 5)

Picture of the US - Mexican Wall

The old border fence in Playa de Tijuana, Mexico, 2008. from my project: LA FRONTERA: Artists along the US Mexican Border © Stefan Falke http://www.stefanfalke.com/, © © Stefan Falke / "La Frontera"

21.10.2021 - Article

This panel aims to deconstruct the immutability of borders, offering two alternatives to thinking about human mobility, migration, and belonging.

Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a conversation among Volker HeinsNandita Sharma, and Gabriella Etmektsoglou on “A Necessary Utopia: Rethinking Borders” focusing on the recent books by Volker Heins, Offene Grenzen für Alle: Eine notwendige Utopie [Open Border for All: A Necessary Utopia] (Hoffmann und Campe, 2020) and Nandita Sharma, Home Rule: National Sovereignty and the Separation of Natives and Migrants (Duke University Press, 2020).
In today’s interconnected world, borders are still presented as immutable fact, inextricably linked to the economic, political, and social framework of the nation state. As we are increasingly confronted with the accelerating and interlocking transnational challenges of civil wars, climate catastrophe, forced migration and the rise in radical nationalism, some are calling for revisiting the construct of the border to envision a safer future for all. This panel gives space to explore alternate ways of thinking about borders, and discuss the benefits of these alternate realities, what it might take to get there, and what exactly could hold us back.

Volker Heins will address the “necessary utopia” of open borders, which he develops in his book, and the ways in which the freedom of movement of all of earth’s inhabitants – particularly those locked into immobility under current border regimes – would bolster democracy across the globe. Nandita Sharma will expand upon her extensive work with the No Borders movement, offering a more radical reshaping of our societies and economies by ridding the world of borders altogether, moving beyond the nation state and the capitalist System.

Location & Time

Friday, November 5, 2021, 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM EDT

Virtual Event

Please register here.

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