Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Migration Category

Stand Up to Racism Tomorrow

  • March 18, 2016
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Tomorrow Stand Up To Racism is staging a national demonstration in London to coincide with UN Anti-Racism Day, which commemorates the 1960 Sharpeville massacre when 69 peaceful demonstrators were shot by police in South Africa.  Tomorrow’s demonstration takes place at a critical period  in European history, when racism, xenophobia, and hatred towards foreigners and refugees are coursing through the continent.

This is why we have scenes like this:

And this:

And from the political mainstream, we have politicians who stigmatize and dehumanize migrants in a cynical attempt to distract attention from their own failings:

Meanwhile men,...

Europe’s Porous Borders: Leonidas Cheliotis and the logic of ‘punitive inclusion’

  • March 13, 2016
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Think of borders in the 21st century and you immediately think of walls, barbed wire fences, razor wire, checkpoints, quasi-military border patrols on land and sea, surveillance cameras, sensors and a panoply of high-tech paraphernalia whose essential purpose is to keep unwanted people out.   This is the kind of imagery that we tend...

The Archbishop’s Fears

  • March 12, 2016
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One of the most depressing and inane themes in the  great British ‘debate’ about immigration is the idea that there is no debate about immigration. It’s a refrain  emanating mostly from the right, which  has been replayed for years like a stuck record.  It goes essentially like this; ‘we’ aren’t allowed to speak about...

Europe’s ‘Migration Crisis’ : Repression with a human face

  • March 08, 2016
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Many years ago Franco Solinas, the scriptwriter for Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece The Battle of Algiers, was asked by an interviewer why the French colonel Mathieu – a pragmatic exponent of torture –  was portrayed as ‘ too much of a gentleman in fatigues, excessively noble.  He is elegant, cultured….’  Solinas replied that...

Kamel Daoud and the Rape of Europa

  • February 20, 2016
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I’m a big fan of the Algerian novelist Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation, which I read last year.  It was a brilliant deconstruction of L’Etranger, which movingly and provocatively imagined the voice of the Arab colonial subject that was missing from the Camus’s novel.

In doing so, it invited Camus’s readers to re-think the essential...

Cruel Britannia: Light Unto the Nations

  • February 19, 2016
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This week, while our valiant prime minister was ‘battling for Britain’ amongst the bloodsucking Euro-hordes in Brussels, the Home Office approved the deportation of a 92-year-old South African widow who is blind in one eye.   These two events are not as unrelated as they might seem.  One of the key demands in...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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