Zombies in Fortress Europe: the migrants as a metaphor

Lega Nord _ Abbiamo fermato l'inavsione (We stopped the invasion)

Lega Nord _ Abbiamo fermato l’inavsione (We stopped the invasion)

“In its contemporary manifestations, the migrant figure has been imagined variously as a mechanical, animalistic, spectral, zombified, vampiric or cyborg entity”

   Nikos Papastergiadis

The frame used by politicians and mass media to describe migrants and refugees recalls the tradition of horror movies. A devilish, dangerous, elusive and relentless presence threatens the borders. They come from the sea.

Zombies.

A shapeless horde, a scary multitude.

The zombies are what we do not (want to) understand. They are the American Indians, the slum dwellers, the colonized, Iraqis and Afghans, Eritreans. They are the by-product of an (internal and external) Apartheid imposed by relationships of strength.

The doors of the fortress (or hotspots) are the critical junctures of the system, the crumbling bastions of a civilization under siege: Melilla, Lesbo, Ventimiglia, Calais, Budapest, the Eurotunnel, Lampedusa. Between land and water, the entrance to “heaven” is strewn with rotting corpses, and the stench goes straight to the nostrils of all. Continue reading

Interview #4 – Aurelien Mondon on French Populism: between resistance and revolutions

aurelien-mondon-28740-0029Aurelien Mondon’s primary research currently focuses on neo-racism, Islamophobia and right-wing populism, and their impact on liberal democracies. More detail can be found here and here. He is Lecturer in French and comparative politics working on racism, populism, the far right and the crisis of democracy at the University of Bath. I asked him some general questions about populism, democracy, resistance and revolutions.

  • Let’s start by placing populism in its historical context. Is it still possible to claim that populism means ‘giving power to the people’, or nowadays even those who vote for populist parties know that they are actually delegating their power to (more or less) charismatic leaders and parties?

Continue reading