• Map-archive of Europe’s migrant spaces

    The project of an interactive map-archive of ‘migrant spaces’ of transit, border enforcement and refuge across Europe stems from a workshop organised in London in November 2016 by researchers working on migration and based in different European countries.

    The goal of this collective project, is to bring to the fore the existence and the stories of ephemeral spaces of containment, transit, and struggle, that are the outcome of border enforcement politics and of their spatial effects, as well as of their impact on migrant lives.
    What we want to represent

    We do not represent on the map official detention centres or reception camps, but rather unofficial (but visible) spaces that have been produced as an effect of migration and border policies as well as of migrants’ practices of movement. Some well-known examples are the Jungle of Calais, or the Hellenic’s airport in Athens, which represent the output of the relation between the border enforcement policies with the autonomous movements of migrant subjects across Europe. Moreover, spaces of transit like the rail station of Milan will be represented, which have then become places of containment – such as Ventimiglia, Como, and the Brenner after the suspension of Schengen in such border areas. Several structures have been build in such transit knots, being characterized by their humanitarian element that intertwine the dimension of control with that of help and care. Finally, some of these places are zones inside European cities that have played the twofold role of spaces-refuge and area

    controlled by the police, and then have been evicted as dwelling places where migrants found a temporary place to stay – like Lycée Jean-Quarré in Paris, La Chapelle. Others are self-managed places, like Refugee City Plaza Hotel, or square and public spaces that had been sites of migrant struggles for some time – as Orianenplatz in Berlin.
    The three dimensions

    The complexity of the processes that get intertwined in these places can be represented through three dimensions that we aimed to represent, although they cannot be exhaustively of the complexity of this phenomenon.

    Border enforcement/ border control: by border control we understand all the operations, measures and actions put into place by the police for enhancing national borders and obstructing migrants’ movements and presence.

    Humanitarian enforcement: by humanitarian enforcement we understand all the operation/action and structures deployed by those humanitarian actors involved in managing migrants. Being ‘humanitarianism’ a blurry and contested category, we understand it as a continuum with the two endpoints of humanitarian control and humanitarian support. The first endpoint refers to all these actions, operations and structures that aim to control migrants and contain their mobilities. The second endpoint refers to all these actions, operation and structures that aim to support migrants and their movements avoiding deploying control measures.

    Migrant struggles: by ‘struggles’ we understand both self-organized struggles with a declared political claim, and everyday struggles such as the transits mobilities and the ‘everyday resistance’ (Scott, 1985) practices collectively enacted by migrants, that can be visible or remaining under the threshold of visibility.
    Temporality and spatiality

    A crucial feature of this map is the focus on temporality rather than spatiality. Indeed, this map cis an archive of those fleeting and ephemeral spaces that do no longer exist and that have changed their function over time, as frontiers or as spaces of refuge and struggle. The focus on temporality allows us to go beyond the mainstream representations of migrants routes offered by those official actors managing migration such as Fontex, European Union, IOM and the UNHCR.

    We do not want to represent those informal places that are still existing in order to avoid shedding more light on them that could bring some problem to the people dwelling and transiting through those places. The idea of archive is related to that ethical/political topic: we do not want to trace the still existing place where people are struggling, but rather we aim to keep a record and a memory of such ephemeral spaces that do not exist any-more but nevertheless have contributed to the production of a Europe not represented in the mainstream debate. Therefore, we represent only those places still existing where the border and humanitarian enforcement come to the fore, in order to keep an ongoing monitoring gaze.
    The aim

    The aims of this map-archive are: a) to keep memory of these spaces that have been visible and have been the effect of border enforcement policies but that then had been evicted, or ‘disappeared’ ; b) to produce a new map of Europe, that is a map formed by these spaces of transit, containment, and refuge, as result of politics of border enforcement and of migration movements; c) to shed light on the temporality of migration as a crucial dimension through which understand and interpret the complexity of social processes related to migration towards and within Europe and the consequent border enforcement.

    To be continued

    Since Europe externalizes its borders beyond its geopolitical frontiers, we would like to add also spaces of transit and containment that are located in the so called ‘third countries’ – for instance, in Tunisia, Turkey and Morocco – as the map wants also to represent a different image of the borders of Europe, looking also at sites that are the effects of EU borders externalisation politics.
    #cartographie #cartographie_radicale #cartographie_critique #frontières #frontière_sud-alpine #visualisation #migrations #asile #réfugiés #conflits #contrôle_humanitaire #militarisation_des_frontières #Europe

    On peut faire un zoom sur la #frontière_sud-alpine :

    #Vintimille #Côme #Brenner #Briançon #Menton

    cc @reka

    • Migration: new map of Europe reveals real frontiers for refugees

      Since the EU declared a “refugee crisis” in 2015 that was followed by an unprecedented number of deaths in the Mediterranean, maps explaining the routes of migrants to and within Europe have been used widely in newspapers and social media.

      Some of these maps came out of refugee projects, while others are produced by global organisations, NGOs and agencies such as Frontex, the European Border and Coastguard Agency, and the International Organisation for Migration’s project, Missing Migrants. The Balkan route, for example, shows the trail along which hundred of thousands of Syrian refugees trekked after their towns and cities were reduced to rubble in the civil war.

      However, migration maps tend to produce an image of Europe being “invaded” and overwhelmed by desperate women, men and children in search of asylum. At the same time, migrants’ journeys are represented as fundamentally linear, going from a point A to a point B. But what about the places where migrants have remained stranded for a long time, due to the closure of national borders and the suspension of the Schengen Agreement, which establishes people’s free internal movement in Europe? What memories and impressions remain in the memory of the European citizens of migrants’ passage and presence in their cities? And how is this most recent history of migration in Europe being recorded?

      Time and memory

      Our collective project, a map archive of Europe’s migrant spaces, engages with with these questions by representing border zones in Europe – places that have functioned as frontiers for fleeing migrants. Some of these border zones, such as Calais, have a long history, while other places have become effective borders for migrants in transit more recently, such as Como in Italy and Menton in France. The result of a collaborative work by researchers in the UK, Greece, Germany, Italy and the US, the project records memories of places in Europe where migrants remained in limbo for a long time, were confronted with violence, or found humanitarian aid, as well as marking sites of organised migrant protest.

      All the cities and places represented in this map archive have over time become frontiers and hostile environments for migrants in transit. Take for instance the Italian city of Ventimiglia on the French-Italian border. This became a frontier for migrants heading to France in 2011, when the French government suspended Schengen to deter the passage of migrants who had landed in Lampedusa in Italy in the aftermath of the Tunisian revolution in 2011.

      Four years later in 2015, after border controls were loosened, Ventimiglia again became a difficult border to cross, when France suspended Schengen for the second time. But far from being just a place where migrants were stranded and forced to go back, our map archive shows that Ventimiglia also became an important place of collective migrant protest.

      Images of migrants on the cliffs holding banners saying “We are not going back” circulated widely in 2015 and became a powerful slogan for other migrant groups across Europe. The most innovative aspect of our map-archive consists in bringing the context of time, showing the transformations of spaces over time into a map about migration that explains the history of border zones over the last decade and how they proliferated across Europe. Every place represented – Paris, Calais, Rome, Lesbos, Kos, and Athens, for example – has been transformed over the years by migrants’ presence.
      Which Europe?

      This archive project visualises these European sites in a way that differs from the conventional geopolitical map: instead of highlighting national frontiers and cities, it foregrounds places that have been actual borders for migrants in transit and which became sites of protest and struggle. In this way the map archive produces another image of Europe, as a space that has been shaped by the presence migrants – the border violence, confinement and their struggle to advance.

      The geopolitical map of Europe is transformed into Europe’s migrant spaces – that is, Europe as it is experienced by migrants and shaped by their presence. So another picture of Europe emerges: a space where migrants’ struggle to stay has contributed to the political history of the continent. In this Europe migrants are subjected to legal restrictions and human rights violations, but at the same time they open up spaces for living, creating community and as a backdrop for their collective struggles.

      It is also where they find solidarity with European citizens who have sympathy with their plight. These border zones highlighted by our map have been characterised by alliances between citizens and migrants in transit, where voluntary groups have set up to provide food, shelter and services such as medical and legal support.

      So how does this map engage with debate on the “migrant crisis” and the “refugee crisis” in Europe? By imposing a time structure and retracing the history of these ephemeral border zone spaces of struggle, it upends the image of migrants’ presence as something exceptional, as a crisis. The map gives an account of how European cities and border zones have been transformed over time by migrants’ presence.

      By providing the history of border zones and recording memories of citizens’ solidarity with migrants in these places, this map dissipates the hardline view of migrants as invaders, intruders and parasites – in other words, as a threat. This way, migrants appear as part of Europe’s unfolding history. Their struggle to stay is now becoming part of Europe’s history.

      But the increasing criminalisation of migrant solidarity in Europe is telling of how such collaboration disturbs state policies on containing migrants. This map-archive helps to erode the image of migrants as faceless masses and unruly mobs, bringing to the fore the spaces they create to live and commune in, embraced by ordinary European citizens who defy the politics of control and the violent borders enacted by their states.
      via @isskein

  • French police cut soles off migrant children’s shoes, claims Oxfam | World news | The Guardian

    French border police have been accused of detaining migrant children as young as 12 in cells without food or water, cutting the soles off their shoes and stealing sim cards from their mobile phones, before illegally sending them back to Italy.

    A report released on Friday by the charity Oxfam also cites the case of a “very young” Eritrean girl, who was forced to walk back to the Italian border town of Ventimiglia along a road with no pavement while carrying her 40-day-old baby.

    The allegations, which come from testimony gathered by Oxfam workers and partner organisations, come two months after French border police were accused of falsifying the birth dates of unaccompanied migrant children in an attempt to pass them off as adults and send them back to Italy.

    “We don’t have evidence of violent physical abuse, but many [children] have recounted being pushed and shoved or shouted at in a language they don’t understand,” Giulia Capitani, the report’s author, told the Guardian.

    “And in other ways the border police intimidate them – for example, cutting the soles off their shoes is a way of saying, ‘Don’t try to come back’.”

  • French police accused of falsifying migrant children’s birth dates | World news | The Guardian

    Seven Italian charities have accused French border police of falsifying the birth dates of migrant children travelling alone in an attempt to pass them off as adults and send them back to Italy.

    In an appeal to the European commission and Italy’s interior ministry, the charities highlighted evidence of two cases in which birth dates appeared to have been modified on “refusal of entry” documents.

    One of the alleged incidents happened in March when charity staff were monitoring the situation around the Italian border town of Ventimiglia.

    #police #mensonge #enfant #migrants #honte

  • French police accused of falsifying migrant children’s birth dates.

    Seven Italian charities have accused French border police of falsifying the birth dates of migrant children travelling alone in an attempt to pass them off as adults and send them back to Italy.

    In an appeal to the European commission and Italy’s interior ministry, the charities highlighted evidence of two cases in which birth dates appeared to have been modified on “refusal of entry” documents.

    One of the alleged incidents happened in March when charity staff were monitoring the situation around the Italian border town of Ventimiglia.

    Most migrants attempting the journey north into France by train pass through Ventimiglia, only to be sent back by officers patrolling Menton Garavan, the first stop along the southern French coastal route.

    “We were only there by chance but saw two minors, who we knew well, being stopped by French police,” said Daniela Ziterosa, a legal assistant at the charity Intersos.

    “We saw the police write the incorrect date of birth on the ‘refusal of entry’ document. One of the children took a photo of the document and you can see his date of birth has been changed from the one he declared.

    “We managed to block them from being sent back and eventually the French took them in.”

  • Country Report : Italy

    The updated AIDA Country Report on Italy documents developments in the asylum procedure, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers and content of international protection throughout 2017.
    The year 2017 has been chatacterised by media, political and judicial crackdown on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) saving lives at sea, and by the implementation of cooperation agreements with African countries such as Libya, while barriers to access to the territory have also been witnessed at the northern borders of the country, against the backdrop of increasing arrivals from Austria.
    Severe obstacles continue to be reported with regard to access to the asylum procedure in Italy. Several Police Headquarters (Questure) in cities such as Naples, Rome, Bari and Foggia have set specific days for seeking asylum and limited the number of people allowed to seek asylum on a given day, while others have imposed barriers on specific nationalities. In Rome and Bari, nationals of certain countries without a valid passport were prevented from applying for asylum. In other cases, Questure in areas such as Milan, Rome, Naples, Pordenone or Ventimiglia have denied access to asylum to persons without a registered domicile, contrary to the law. Obstacles have also been reported with regard to the lodging of applications, with several Questure such as Milan or Potenza unlawfully refusing to complete the lodging of applications for applicants which they deem not to be in need of protection.
    Since December 2017, Italy has established a specific Dublin procedure in Questure in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region bordering Austria and Slovenia, with support from EASO. According to that procedure, as soon as a Eurodac ‘hit’ is recorded, Questure move the lodging appointment to a later date and notify a Dublin transfer decision to the persons concerned prior to that date. Applicants are therefore subject to a Dublin transfer before having lodged their application, received information on the procedure or had an interview.
    Despite a continuing increase in the capacity of the SPRAR system, which currently counts over 35,000 funded places, the vast majority of asylum seekers are accommodated in temporary reception centres (CAS). CAS hosted around 80% of the population at the end of 2017. In Milan, for example, the ratio of SPRAR to CAS is 1:10.
    Destitution remains a risk of asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection. At least 10,000 persons are excluded from the reception system. Informal settlements with limited or no access to essential services are spread across the entire national territory.
    Throughout 2017, both due to the problems related to age assessment and to the unavailability of places in dedicated shelters, there have been cases of unaccompanied children accommodated in adults’ reception centres, or not accommodated at all. Several appeals have been lodged to the European Court of Human Rights against inappropriate accommodation conditions for unaccompanied children.
    Five pre-removal centres (CPR) are currently operational, while a new hotspot has been opened in Messina. However, substandard conditions continue to be reported by different authorities visiting detention facilities, namely the hotspots of Lampedusa and Taranto and the CPR of Caltanissetta and Ponte Galeria.
    The hotspots of Lampedusa and Taranto have been temporarily been closed as of March 2018.
    #Italie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #procédure_d'asile #hotspots #Dublin #frontières #procédure_accélérée #vulnérabilité #pays_sûr #relocalisation #hébergement #logement #éducation #travail #santé #rétention #détention_administrative #naturalisation #liberté_de_mouvement #rapport #refoulement #push-back

    Intéressant, lien avec la #frontière_sud-alpine (#Côme #Milan #Vintimille) :

    Particularly as regards Taranto , as reported by the Senate , among the 14,576 people transiting through the hotspot from March to October 2016 , only 5,048 came from disembarkations while the majority (9,528 ) were traced on Italian territory, mainly at border places in Ventimiglia , Como and Milan , and forcibly taken to Taranto to be identified. Some o f them were asylum seekers accommodated in reception centre in the place they were apprehended and who, after being again identified, were just released out of the hotspot without any ticket or money to go back to their reception centres.

    v. aussi la carte de #Gwendoline_Bauquis, produite dans le cadre de son mémoire de master : « Géopolitique d’une crise de la frontière – Entre #Côme et #Chiasso, le système européen d’asile mis à l’épreuve » (2017)

    #cartographie #visualisation

    Lines from a poem by famous Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish is plastered on the walls of an underpass that offers shelter to well over a hundred migrants and refugees in Ventimiglia, Italy. Refugees and migrants stay here in between attempts to cross into France, which is just a few kilometres away. Italy is a country hit hard by the European refugee/migrant crisis. Unlike Greece where most of the migrants are from the war torn middle east, most of the migrants in Italy are from African nations heading to Europe for economical reasons.(Photo by John Owens/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

  • Histoires de Frontières #1 | S.A.V.

    Première partie de cette série de docus sur les parcours des migrantEs, la militarisation des frontières, mais aussi sur les luttes et solidarités en cours. Deux reportages étaient au programme : – Un entretien maison réalisé fin décembre au squat Chez Marcel à Briançon qui permet de revenir sur l’ouverture de ce lieu d’accueil et la situation à la frontière italienne dans les Hautes-Alpes. Durée : 30 min. – Un montage de différentes prises de paroles de migrants et témoignages sur la situation à Ventimiglia (Italie), Briançon et Lyon. Durée : 30 min. Source : Radio Canut

  • France/Italy: harsh living conditions for migrants in Ventimiglia

    As a consequence of the ever-stricter border policies in place in Europe since the sharp increase in migration in 2015, the Italian town of Ventimiglia, near the French border, has turned into the main transit point for migrants trying to reach other EU countries from Italy. Since the end of 2016, Médécins Sans Frontières (MSF) has started providing maternal care and mental health support to migrants in transit to France, who are stuck at the border with no access to basic health care. With the arrival of summer, more people have reached the border city, and have been unable to find shelter in the existing facilities.
    #Vintimille #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #fermeture_des_frontières #Italie #France #conditions_de_vie #frontière_sud-alpine

  • Human dignity threatened in #Ventimiglia

    Caritas Europa, together with its members Secours Catholique-Caritas France and Caritas Italy, calls on the EU and in particular on the French and Italian governments to take action to respect the human dignity and fundamental rights of migrants stuck in Ventimiglia, Italy.
    #Italie #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés #fermeture_des_frontières #France #Vintimille #zone-tampon #zone_d'attente #antichambre #frontière_sud-alpine