Plastic Form. The design of (im)mobility along the Hungarian-Serbian border

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterScientific


On June 15, 2015, the Hungarian government ordered the construction of a temporary border lock of approximately 175 km along its Southern frontier. The intervention was aimed at stopping the growing influx of migrants moving northward along the Balkan Route. The Hungarian strategy, although very controversial, is not an isolated case. Since 2015, more or less temporary barriers have proliferated across the Balkans and Central-Eastern Europe exposing a wide area, where the so-called external EU border becomes ambiguous. There, the lines to dissolve and those to ‘protect’ intertwine and overlap, while tensions and violence increase.
By examining in detail the Hungarian case, the poster observes the fortification of the border as a process of space formation. It questions how a new spatial form comes to be in the modulation of forces of control and migration, while interacting with existing social and natural environments. The site survey conducted along selected sections of the Hungarian Southern border serves as a basis for analyzing spatial and material traces. Objects and spatial elements are proposed as testimonies of the entanglement of past traumas of separation and current struggles of unequal mobility. The analysis takes distance from the reduction of the fence to mere closure functions and ideas of fixity. Rather, it shifts from the scale of objects to that of territories and invites to search for relationships of material and geographic nature that underline different modes of moving. The poster introduces the concept of plasticity as a both discursive and material feature. While unfolding a concrete characteristic of border space, plasticity also expresses a political potential, including both human and non-human agencies in the process of space formation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventBorder Walls and Borderlands. Security, Environment and Resistance - University of Quebec, Montreal, Canada
Duration: 20 Oct 202221 Oct 2022


ConferenceBorder Walls and Borderlands. Security, Environment and Resistance
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