The Hieroglyphics of the Border: Racial Stigma in Neoliberal Europe

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 17:45
Oral Presentation
Imogen TYLER, University of Lancaster, United Kingdom
In the summer of 2015, 1.5 million refugees arrived at Europe’s

borders. This article examines how and why this humanitarian crisis

was transformed into a ‘racist crisis’. It begins by recounting a highly

publicised event in the Czech Republic which saw police forcibly

removing hundreds of people from trains at midnight in the border

town of Břeclav, before inking numbers on their arms and

transporting them to detention centres. Thinking with this scene,

the article develops the conceptual framework of ‘racial stigma’ to

capture some of the multiple practices that characterize border

regimes in Contemporary Europe. Racism, it argues, is the stigma

machine of sovereign power in neoliberal Europe. The article

concludes with some reflections on how Europe’s current ‘racist

crisis’ reanimates both historical spectres of race and spectral

geographies of racism.