2.3.2 world’s shifting border walls and their imperfect

2.3.2 “Frontières”
– Immigration Museum, Paris

In the 21st
century of the globalization of economies and large population movements for
financial or/and political reasons, that exhibition came to question the
reality which restores the concept of borders. The utopia of a world without
borders where everyone will be free to travel, settle, and work, opposes
control, the militarization of borders, exclusion and conflict. Limits, which
have become more complex over the centuries, affect the entire immigration
process (Frontières).

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The temporary
exhibition “Frontiers” (“Frontières” in French) presented in July 2016 at the
National Museum of Immigration History in Paris (www.histoire-immigration.fr).
It was attempting to give the visitors direct 
experience of the odyssey undertaken by many refugees, both currently
and historically (www.dw.com).

At this point, the
stories behind Europe’s migrant influx are very well-known, caught on YouTube
and evening news channels. Some asylum searchers dream their futures; others
end up begging on European streets. Still others have been sent home, and more
than 40,000 have died trying to cross the Mediterranean since 2000.


The current
migration wave is being seen from a historical point at a stately museum at the
edge of Paris, with a display concentrated on the world’s shifting border walls
and their imperfect effort to keep individuals out. Connected to the display is
likewise an interactive show giving visitors a ‘direct’ experience of sneaking
by truck to England illegally.

According to
Helene Orain, who heads the Museum, the purpose of that exhibition was to
provide a historical explanation of this current crisis and not to give an
answer to that (www.dw.com).

Captured through photos, paintings,
personal stories and videos such as that of the young men at sea on a motorboat puttering in the
falling darkness, and the sound of Arabic spoken above
the engine, “Frontiers” exhibition looks not only at Europe’s recent immigration history – and
the physical and administrative barriers erected over the years – but also at
some of the major border walls that exist in the world today.



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