Desire for Walling

There is a pretty good article and mainly link-collection over on we-make-money – generally a very interesting blog – about facts and impact of walling. The article centers around the ‘Desiring Walls’ lecture by Wendy Brown (audio file on resistnetwork), which analysis the globally evolving phenomenon for walling. Regine from we-make-money has carefully collected the list of walls Wendy Brown provided and published it together with an extensive link collection.
Though for the psychological aspects of walling, which is already hinted by the use of the term ‘desire’ in the headline of the talk one has to listen to the podcast file. Wendy Brown offers quite some insight into the reasonable aspects of the wish for protection, but also on its negative excluding sides and which impacts the refrain of the dealing with circumstances might bring with it.
I have to admit that because of the divergence between the post and the lecture it took me a while to decide to re-publish it immediately here, but after listening to the entire lecture I just join the strong recommendation over at we-make-money: The list goes on and on and the analysis Brown makes of the phenomenon is thought-provoking. I can’t recommend enough the audio file of Prof. Brown’s lecture.

…[..] the lecture explains how the building of walls around the world today is so starkly at odds with images of a world that is ever more connected & unbordered. Whether they aim to deter poor people, illegal workers, asylum seekers, drugs, weapons and other contraband, enslaved youth, ethnic or religious mixing, walls and fences basically do not work.

The list of walls she gave is absolutely alarming, especially considered that she focused on the ones that have risen since the much celebrated fall of the Berlin Wall:


A view of Israel’s separation wall that separates occupied East Jerusalem from the occupied West Bank. (Magnus Johansson, Maan Images) via IMEU
the U.S. border with Mexico and the Israeli West Bank barrier (these two share high technology, sub-contracting and they also reference each other for legitimation), Post-Apartheid South Africa’s internal maze of walls and check point, Saudi Arabia concrete structure along its border with Yemen, India’s reinforced border with Pakistan and Bengladesh, Botswana’s electric fence along the border with Zimbabwe, the wall between Egypt and Gaza, etc. But also walls within walls: gated communities so popular in the U.S. (in particular in Southern Californian communities living closer to the Mexico border), walls around Israel settlements in West Bank, walls around the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem and the walls that partition the city itself, the triple layer of walls around Spanish enclaves in Morocco, the wall of Via Anelli inside the Italian city of Padua that separate white middle class with immigrants living in an “African ghetto” (i’d recommend Italian readers the documentary Stato di Paura, you can find the trailer here), the Baghdad wall built by the U.S. military, etc. [..] … (read on)
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