During the long summer of migration, in 2015, the Aegean sea, with its territorial waters, contiguous -and contested- economic zones, patrol areas and shorelines, was crossed more than a million times by people migrating to Europe on unseaworthy vessels. It is since narrated as a space of death, diaspora, displacement and liminality, a barrier separating two continents; Europe and Asia. The raw physicality of its liquid body is the where the European border apparatus looks to outsource the violence that it cannot be seen to perpetrate, as well as the responsibility for the deaths that the official narrative chooses to deflect. At the same time, the very shores of the Aegean archipelago assume the role of a living, disquiet archive, a testament to the kinds of life and death that are produced around and, precisely, by the borders of the EU. Throughout my research, I attempt to map out fissures; disjunctions in the EU border apparatus and the registration and detention regimes it engenders. The hidden, the undocumented, and the aquatic fold into my work, as I attempt to negotiate a strategy for imperceptibility, and, ultimately, for flight from the territorialising forces of the sovereign state.
Onassis Foundation Scholarship