Ruben Andersson, Oxford

Migration Matters

Thinking of borders as points of connection

In our political and media narratives, we often operate with binary notions: secure or insecure borders, legal or illegal immigration. Ruben Andersson, an anthropologist and Associate Professor at Oxford University who researches undocumented migration from West Africa to Southern Europe, challenges this way of thinking. Andersson immerses himself in the reality of migration, accompanying migrants, border guards, and aid workers to present the impact of the migration control industry from their perspectives.

In this video, he introduces his ‘impossible idea’ which is that borders are seen as points of connection’ instead of an object to be defended. He believes that thinking about migrants only as risks to borders is holding a simplistic view of migration, and that international mobility will happen regardless of what fences and border security systems are used.

An added perspective - by Esra Dilek

Look out for...

  • Migration as a risk
  • An ethnographic approach to understanding migration
  • Ambivalence and criticism from border guards and officials