Migration, borders and social change

The act of migrating extends far beyond the act of moving across a geographical space. Within the borders of Europe, migrants are increasingly mobilising in response to discrimination and socio-economical marginalisation to demand their rights. At the external borders of the European Union, the violence at the border controls has exposed the disregard on the part of individual European governments for the protection of human rights. At the societal level, the superposition, construction and fracturing of identities effected by the process of crossing borders has transformed demographics and urban geographies across Europe and produced a new sense of self for the individual.

In this context, migration is better defined by the profound social and political transformations produced through the lived experience of people crossing and contesting borders. These transformations not only deeply mark the lives of men, women and children that choose to migrate, but also significantly affect European societies. By looking at, and giving centrality to the daily instances in which people collectively and individually come up against the array of borders and boundaries in Europe, Transeuropa Festival wants to explore the role migration plays in creating new forms of active citizenship and social change.

Through transnational campaigns for open access to detention centres and migrant rights as well as public events and performances that bring migrant struggles to the fore, Transeuropa Festival joins the migrant movement. A borderless Europe can never be fully achieved. At best it’s an ambition, a ‘tending towards’. But it is an ambition we share.