OELGEMOLLER, C., 2016. International migration: transit space - creative space? International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 3 (2-3), pp. 121-138.
Is it possible to make illegal migrants intelligible as a force creating social space? What is transit space? Many migration experts seem to ignore the transit space beyond managing geopolitical borders. Much academic literature analyses this space in terms of the migrant’s (in)capacity to act. Drawing on this literature, I argue that transit space policies are on the one hand the condition of possibility for a particular kind of illegality of the transit space and the condition of possibility for ephemeral spaces of solidarity/creativity quite different from the places of citizenship (accorded or denied). Geopolitical transit space is intrinsically important to understanding how contradictory mobility practices are constructed. My speculation is informed by a postanarchist perspective and draws on selected ethnographic studies for illustration. Approaching transit space as contradictory constellation makes it political in that abstract logics imposed by the European discursive order interact with ephemeral practices producing violence and solidarity in such a way that what is licit and illicit is thrown open to radical questioning.
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Earlier drafts of this paper were presented at a workshop held by the RGS-IBG and the University of Birmingham and has subsequently benefited from comments received from Ruth Kinna and the participants of a workshop organized by Melissa Philips and Antje Missbach at the Humboldt University, Germany. All mistakes and any remaining lack of clarity are mine to take responsibility for.