© 2018

Border Lampedusa

Subjectivity, Visibility and Memory in Stories of Sea and Land

  • Gabriele Proglio
  • Laura Odasso

About this book


This book analyses the European border at Lampedusa as a metaphor for visible and invisible powers that impinge on relations between Europe and Africa/Asia. Taking an interdisciplinary approach (political, social, cultural, economic and artistic), it explores the island as a place where social relations based around race, gender, sex, age and class are being reproduced and/or subverted. The authors argue that Lampedusa should be understood as a synecdoche for European borders and boundaries. Widening the classical definition of the term ‘border’, the authors examine the different meanings assigned to the term by migrants, the local population, seafarers and associative actors based on their subjective and embodied experiences. They reveal how migration policies, international relations with African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries, and the perpetuation of new forms of colonization and imperialism entail heavy consequences for the European Union. This work will appeal to a wide readership, from scholars of migration, anthropology and sociology, to students of political science, Italian, African and cultural studies.


migration management dematerialized border human trafficking European borders biopolitical management the Mediterranean passage Europe’s Migrant Crisis Italian border Asylum ethnography postcolonialism imagined community Antonio Gramsci Frantz Fanon Aime Césaire media representation of immigrants human geographies refugees humanitarian invasion Lampedusa

Editors and affiliations

  • Gabriele Proglio
    • 1
  • Laura Odasso
    • 2
  1. 1.Centro de Estudos Sociais (CES)Universidade de Coimbra, PortugalCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.CNRS, Laboratoire Méditerranéen de Sociologie (LAMES) & Temps, Espaces, Langage, Europe Méridionale, Méditerranée (TELEMME)Aix-Marseille UnivAix-en-Provence & MarseilleFrance

About the editors

Gabriele Proglio is an FCT postdoctoral fellowship recipient at the Centro de Estudos Sociais (CES), Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal, and a Research Fellow on the ERC funded ‘Bodies Across Borders’ project at the European University Institute, Italy.

Laura Odasso is Postdoctoral Researcher at the Laboratoire Méditerranéen de Sociologie (LAMES), Aix-Marseille University, France. She collaborates regularly with the University of Strasbourg, France, the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy, the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and civil society organisations in Europe.

Bibliographic information


“Without ever losing sight of the images of shipwrecks and death so often associated with the island, Boder Lampedusa inter-references a multiplicity of subjective experiences that end up troubling the distinction between the European Self and its Others. Lampedusa thus becomes a sign of the European condition, where the violence of border control cannot erase the powerful presence of other geographies and histories that that continue to challenge it. A must read for anyone interested in migration, borders, and postcolonial criticism.” (Sandro Mezzadra, University of Bologna, Italy)