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Border Choreographies


CityX Venice Italian Virtual Pavilion, 2021, La Biennale di Venezia 17. Mostra Internazionale de Architettura

Project Team: Adriana David (DOMA), Eva Lavranou, María Gracia San Martín

Borders are places where flows change direction, they are fluid, always in motion. This research examines the procedure of crossing an international border by a human being. The main objective is to delineate how a body is addressed, controlled, and deconstructed when crossing a political boundary.
This part of the research examines the experience of bodies crossing international borders focusing on air and land, taking as case studies the US International airports and the Caravana Migrante route from Central America to the Mexico-US border.
The formal crossing by air, requires individuals to be identified, registered, and documented.
The human is recognized from identification documents, as well as face, retina, iris, and fingerprints scanning patterns which are compared within algorithms linked to national or international administrative and security databases. Gender, ethnicity, race or nationality classifications can trigger a totally different experience in the crossing and expose systemic discriminatory practices. Whereas, in the informal land crossing, the body intensely engages in
multiple actions while facing unpredictable dangers such as crime, violence or extreme
landscape and climatic conditions.
This work is an attempt to reveal the blurred but deeply rooted link between body, personhood, identity, and the territory that is traversed when crossing a border. a humanscale view into a profoundly exploited frontier, overflowing with life stories, violence, abuse, conflict, but also solidarity and hope. The analysis delivers a sequence of movements, a choreography, delineating the experience of a body during a border crossing. The video is a multi-layered animation of the score in a fictional temporality. The voice in first person represents the internal thoughts of the self, echoing a divided being, affected by its experience of crossing a border.