Horizonless Worlds: Navigating the Persistent Present of the Border Regime

Nishat Awan

December 22nd at 7:53pm

Through discussing the persistent present of displacement the essay argues that a politics of time is being mobilised as a biopolitical means of control in migrant lives. This can be seen in the circularity of displacement, deportation and return, where waiting and disorientation become forms of control. The discussion emerges from field research and interviews I carried out in the villages of north Punjab, Pakistan, where many people are caught in this chronopolitics of migration. The migrant experience of borders is read alongside a critical interrogation of the computational technologies deployed in border management, including EuroDAC and iMap. They produce a form of imperial temporality for which the horizon acts as a constitutive trope of progress, while simultaneously producing a sense of a horizonless world through the networked logic and ubiquity of datafication. I end with a discussion of how it may be possible to find other orientations within these normative spatiotemporalities of a bordered world.