Here is Part 3 of Heidrun Friese's “Border Economies: Lampedusa and The
Nascent Migration Industry” (2012, updated 2015), full text (2012 version)

*The Political Economy of Borders*

*Harga*, undocumented mobility and the border regime are made up of
specific social spaces and (in)formal economies. Despite the dominant
political discourse about “human trafficking” – so dear to European
politicians and stakeholders who brought up the remunerative topic –
crossings from Tunisia to Lampedusa, especially on small boats or
inflatable dinghies, are often self-organised. *Harraga* mostly rely on
neighbourhood relations, kin, personal (translocal/national) networks or
sheer chance. However, *laguatas*, “jokers”, *khit* (thread), *jellebas*
(sheep merchants), mediators, “smugglers” – or better: informal border
entrepreneurs or travel agents – have a recognised social status. They have
a strong incentive in delivering their service to the satisfaction of those
who rely on their skills. Thus, they have to maintain, display and enhance
their reputation within this competitive market. Ports were highly
controlled by port authorities and police informers of the regime. Local
border entrepreneurs work in a highly risky market-segment by providing
services to mobile people who are excluded from the official market and
“legal” mobility.

As local fishermen have the means of transport at their disposal, they play
a decisive role for the organisation of *harraga*. Since juridical
sanctions and administrative restrictions complicate the legal handover of
boats, Tunisian fishermen – who during the revolution secured their ports –
complained about the theft of boats (some were however, hidden sales). The
*rais* (commander, the pilot) and the *dmangi* (the assistant of the
commander/captain) - especially on bigger boats that are difficult for the
inexperienced *harraga* to handle - are often former fishermen who cannot
make a living from that activity anymore or who want to invest in other
activities. Some of them became irregular boarder commuters, going back and
forth once the travel has been successfully accomplished.

Due to the dramatic over-fishing of the Mediterranean Sea in fact, the
local fishing industry of Lampedusa is no longer competitive in a
globalised market. Structural handicaps, such as higher prices for diesel
fuel and the lack of efficient transport aggravate the situation. Lampedusa
is traversed by conflicts about increasingly scarce resources. Whereas
Lampedusans once fished along the Tunisian shores, Tunisians have started
to approach Italian national waters and, thus, encroach on the traditional
fishing grounds around the island. The structural crisis increasingly leads
to quarrels about the violation of national borders. As the Coast Guard
does not intervene despite various protests, local fishermen feel
“assaulted and ruined” by Tunisian fishermen – irregular border commuters –
and complain they have been “left alone”.

Since the boom of the 1980s, the tourism industry has become one of the
main economic pillars of the small community and its 6,000 inhabitants. As
many as 50,000 tourists visit Lampedusa each year, making the hospitality
industry the main source of income on the island. The fear that media
coverage and the visibility of the clandestine (i.e., the invisibles) could
harm tourism – an accepted form of mobility - is used in populist rhetoric,
and not just in times of local elections.

Cecilia Wee
Tutor, Sound Design

Royal College of Art
School of Communication
Kensington Gore, London
E: [log in to unmask]
T: +44 (0)20 7590 4313 <> <>

*please assume I am offline on evenings and weekends*

On 14 December 2015 at 09:57, Cecilia Wee <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> hello all,
> hope you had a good weekend.
> Here is Part 2 of Heidrun Friese's “Border Economies: Lampedusa and The
> Nascent Migration Industry” (2012, updated 2015), full text (2012 version)
> here:
> *PART 2*
> *Governing Undocumented Mobility and Economical Interests*
> Issues of (undocumented) mobility have become a core part of political and
> economical relations between the EU and its neighbours across the
> Mediterranean. Current European political efforts promote twofold action
> in containing movement and undocumented mobility: the shifting of borders
> beyond borders and at the same time, their increasing control and
> multiplication. Borders, as William Walters points out, “operate like
> filters or gateways”, selecting “the good and the bad, the useful and the
> dangerous, the licit and the illicit; (…) immobilising and removing the
> risky elements so as to speed the circulation of the rest.”
> Border management and technologies of *gouvernementalité* (Foucault) aim
> to detect and contrast resourceful strategies of border-crossings (before
> they even occur) and to fix mobile people. The generation of knowledge
> thus, becomes a remunerative resource and product to place on the highly
> competitive market. “In order to elaborate knowledge-based approaches to
> migration, be this at policy level, strategic level, or through concrete
> actions, *access to comprehensive and updated information* is a
> prerequisite” as the International Centre for Migration Policy Development
> states. Statistics, screening, mapping and visualisation have a long
> tradition in techniques of surveillance, policing and *gouvernementalité*. Not
> by chance the International Centre for Migration Policy Development hosts
> an interactive map – its official name is *i-map* – entailing
> visualisations of movement, routes, hubs and flows. Implementing partners
> on irregular and mixed migration include Europol, Frontex, Interpol,
> UNHCR and UNODC, Migration and Development: IFAD, IOM.
> Cecilia Wee
> Tutor, Sound Design
> Royal College of Art
> School of Communication
> Kensington Gore, London
> SW7 2EU
> E: [log in to unmask]
> T: +44 (0)20 7590 4313
> <>
> <>
> *please assume I am offline on evenings and weekends*
> On 11 December 2015 at 14:55, Cecilia Wee <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> hello listers,
>> as part of this month's discussion, we wanted to introduce the work of
>> practitioners who are working with notions of migration.
>> Heidrun Friese has been conducting anthropological studies with people in
>> Lampedusa for almost 10 years. As well as writing about these issues, she
>> has been using photography to document migrant experiences and in 2013 she
>> created an ibook of images of "Objects Left Behind" by migrants approaching
>> Lampedusa:
>> We have the pleasure of presenting excerpts from her essay “Border
>> Economies: Lampedusa and The Nascent Migration Industry” (2012, updated
>> 2015)
>> There will be 5 installments - here's Part I.
>> For those who are keen, the full text is here:
>> Happy reading -
>> Cecilia
>> Heidrun Friese “Border Economies: Lampedusa and The Nascent Migration
>> Industry” (2012, updated 2015)
>> *PART 1*
>> Dans les civilisations sans bateaux les rêves se tarissent- Michel
>> Foucault
>> Situated between Tunisia and Sicily, the tiny island of Lampedusa has
>> become a prominent symbol for Mediterranean borderlands, EU-migration
>> policies and cross-border governance.
>> <#1519fec5c2b0e19b_151918a2786c654f_15191886734f6188__edn1>Whereas the
>> right to mobility is part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
>> undocumented people encounter – not least with the introduction of the
>> Schengen-treaty and the visa system in 1986 – legal systems and border
>> regimes that set up a variety of limits to their freedom of movement and
>> capacity to stay.
>> Undocumented mobility and the “border regime” involve a multitude of
>> local and (supra)national actors, whose practices relate to each other
>> without being ordered by a central logic or rationality. The idea of a
>> “migration regime” helps to stress the interdependence of observation and
>> action.”
>> The border regime also articulates shifting relations between the global
>> and the local, centre and periphery, leading to incessant processes and
>> mobile textures of de/re-localisation, de-bordering and re-bordering which
>> blur the internal and the external, as well as the formal and the informal
>> economic sector. The *harraga* (as those who “burn their papers” are
>> called in the Maghreb), their friends, families and networks, self-made
>> entrepreneurs who arrange the voyages on one hand, and actors who organise
>> the reception of boat people on a day-to-day-basis on the other: members of
>> the Coastal Guard and security forces, the employees of “reception
>> centres”, the local municipality and political forces.
>> Images of “flow”, “invasion”, “crisis”, “invasion” or “emergency” are an
>> integral part of such an industry as the media gaze produces and
>> disseminates dominant views of undocumented mobility. This dominant gaze
>> situates the mobile subject both as a victim and as a threat to national
>> security and systems of welfare, and is part of a powerful social
>> *imaginaire* of catastrophes and thus, legitimises political discourse
>> and action, a process outlined by Agamben, where the emergency - the
>> exception - becomes the rule.
>> So far, shifting fields of sovereignty, the multiplicity of power
>> relations, technologies, programmes and strategies of liberal and
>> neo-liberal governance have been critically scrutinised. Likewise,
>> practices of hospitality, as well as the quest for cosmopolitan concepts
>> and the need of new forms of citizenship have been acknowledged. However,
>> economical aspects of border-regimes and especially the political economies
>> and the nascent migration industry, in other words, the relations between
>> local and translocal/transnational informal and formal economies, have
>> largely escaped attention so far.
>> <#1519fec5c2b0e19b_151918a2786c654f_15191886734f6188__edn3>The
>> “production of illegality” contributes not only to brute exploitation of
>> “illegalised” manpower, moreover, it enhances the security sector as an
>> “emergent market” providing technically sophisticated devices for the
>> detection of undocumented border crossers, such as documented by William
>> Walters.
>> At the same time, such border regimes foster the production of
>> subjectivities, of cross-border actors and their strategies to circumvent –
>> or to actively use – established procedures and routines for individual
>> projects of mobility. Borders are both a means of exclusion, division
>> *and* at the same time, porous zones of contact, border commuters and
>> in/formal commerce (be it “legal” or “illegal”) provide a livelihood for
>> inhabitants of these regions.
>> Cecilia Wee
>> Tutor, Sound Design
>> Royal College of Art
>> School of Communication
>> Kensington Gore, London
>> SW7 2EU
>> E: [log in to unmask]
>> T: +44 (0)20 7590 4313
>> <>
>> <>