Borderscapes - PhMuseum


Giuseppe Fanizza Giulia Ticozzi

2015 - Ongoing


A chain of events related to the ongoing migratory waves from Middle East and North Africa to Europe, has led to the birth of new inner European frontiers, in the perception of the public and of the national and European institutions.

Before such events the borderlands of Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia up to the Italian-Austrian borders where considered as infra-European borderlands and the role of European front was assigned to more peripheral areas of Europe, such as Ceuta and Melilla (Spain), the exterior Turkish border and some Mediterranean islands such as Lampedusa, Malta, Cypros or Lesvos.

The border line between Hungary and Serbia (as set in the

aftermath of World War I with the Treaty of Trianon and confirmed

after World War II with the Treaty of Paris) run on a totally flat

land, lacking natural barriers such as mountain belts or big rivers.

The border populations used to share open fields whose limits were

only signed by small border-stones and some old watch towers from

the World Wars.

On 6 July 2015, the government and the parliament of Hungary

decided and approved the construction of a barrier of 175 km of

barbed wire mesh, on the border with Serbia to stop or deflect the

recent and unfinished mass migration from the Middle East and

from Africa into Europe.

The Hungarian wall is an important starting point in the

understanding of the dynamics of which we speak.

On the one hand it makes us understand that, no matter how high

is the degree of civilization we think to have reached in Europe, it is

extremely easy to go back to desperate measures, even though we

considered them completely abandoned and forgotten.

On the other hand the hungarian wall is crucial as it has quickly

become a precedent and a paradigm for other nations and the

European Institutions. The suspension of Schengen Treaty, the

barriers, fences and walls in central Europe are now considered not

as extreme measures as six months ago.

The Slovenian borders, from Austria through Croatia to Istria, were involved, during the 2015-2016 winter, in a series of government measures in response to the recent mass migration from Africa and the Middle East. These measures have led to the construction of hundreds of kilometers of wire barriers along the borders between these countries both in and out of the Schengen system.

All the nations in the region have set up temporary camps for refugees and have designed systems of identification and transfer of migrants, trying to canalize and systematize a spontaneous and continuous flow.

Being a borderland is not new to these territories that over the centuries held this role in different times and historical circumstances.

Vojna krajina (Croatian and Slovenian for “military frontier”) was a province straddling the southern borderland of the Habsburg Monarchy and later the Austrian Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was a line of forts and castles built by order of Ferdinand I as a defence from incursions from the Ottoman Empire during the XVI century. The people had special administrative and fiscal regulations and they were freed from the condition of “serfs” and received the status of free peasants, and other privileges as soldiers-settlers.

Back to the present day, the landscape and inhabitants find themselves appointed with the role of a contemporary “mark”, a region with the special status and function of facing new conditions, walls and peoples.

By using mainly photography as an instrument of investigation, we want to depict the substance and implications in geography and social landscape of this newly formed frontiers.

At the moment the project is composed by more than a hundred photographs shot in Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Italy. Possible future location where to continue the work are Albania, Greece and Macedonia, the north-eastern border of the Baltic states, Copenhagen and the Oresun bridge to Sweden, Turkey and Bulgaria, Northern France and La Manche.

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  • Bácsszentgyörgy, Hungary.
    A country road dead ends at the fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia.

  • Petrina, Slovenia.
    “Concertina” wire fence on the Slovenian side of river Kolpa, near a border crossing with Croatia. Due to the flooding of the river, driftwood deposits along the fence.

  • “Concertina”.
    A label reporting the manufaturing information of the wire fence bordering the Dragonija river between Istria and Croatia.

  • Šentilj, Slovenia.
    A Yugoslavian monument representing the five Yugoslavian Republics on the border between Austria and Slovenia.

  • Dobova, Slovenia.
    Border Police at the temporary refugee camp in Dobova.

  • Lendava, Slovenia.
    A map of the Lendava “receiving/staying” temporary camp.

  • Moravița, Romania.
    A governmental refugee camp not far from the Romanian-Serbian border.

  • Moraviţa, Romania.
    Deiana Samailà, manager of Free Travel bordershop, on the border between Romania and Serbia

  • Brennerpass, Bolzano, Italia.
    A former border police post converted into tourist shop.

  • Apatin, Serbia.
    A view of Croatia from the Serbian shore of the Danube. Apatin hosts a large number of foreign factories, mostly in the textile sector because of the more permissive state regulation
    about the disposal of prodution waste.

  • Horgoš, Serbia.
    Clothes and objects left by migrants in an abandoned duty free shop at the gate of Horgos on the Serbia-Hungary border. Because of clashes between police and migrants, Hungary closed the crossing to Röszke.

  • Dobova, Slovenia.
    Remains on the tracks of the trains transporting migrants from Croatia to Slovenia in Dobova where they are hosted in a temporary camp to be identified and transferred.

  • Dobova, Slovenia.
    The tent used as a first reception facility for migrants in the temporary camp of Dobova.

  • Dobova, Slovenia.
    Migrants arriving by train in the local station to be identified in the Dobova temporary camp.

  • Dobova, Slovenia
    Busses for the transfer of migrants from the Dobova temporary camp to Austria.

  • Hodoš/Hodos, Slovenia.
    A former Yugoslavian guard tower, near Hodoš, between Slovenia and Croatia.

  • Bad Radkersburg, Austria.
    The artist Joachim Baur and her daughter in “Zollamt”, the Art Center they run in the former custom facility building on the border between Austria and Slovenia.

  • Resia, Bolzano, Italia.
    Bunkers from World War II in the Historical Park near Resia Village. The bunkers were part of the so called “Linea non mi fido” (“I don’t trust” line), a complex system of fortifications built by Fascist Italian Government to defend the borders from a possible invasion by Nazi Germany.

  • Apátistvánfalva, Hungary.
    Border Guard Memorial Museum. The museum houses military memorabilia from the Iron Curtain times.

  • Csikéria, Hungary.
    A border Police patrol controlling the fence built by the Hungarian government on the border between Hungary and Serbia