A Scientific Initiative on/for Border Abolitionism


“Solidarities and Migrants’ Routes Across Europe at Large”

SOLROUTES, as a research project, is a relational immersion into the underworld of “migrant” illegalized movements towards, around and through Europe – what elsewhere we referred to with the image of an underground Europe crisscrossing, exceeding and defying European border regime or “borderland”. It therefore meshes together and confronts itself with two words, routes and solidarity, assuming the latter as the fuel or energy that enables and feeds the material constitution and conditions of possibility for the formers. Routes are thus conceived of as concrete spatial solidarity’ outcomes, in terms of as many territories of re-articulation, connection, transit and dwelling that cross the violent bordered landscape in turn triggered and challenged by illegalized movements. And they are also the outcome of the mutual (and at time conflictual) cooperation and complicity among people on the move, one that is often supported by groups of activists and actors of local civil society.

SOLROUTES intends to be a mixed, multi-sited and multi-scalar ethnographic journey unfolding along the routes together with people on the move. Based in different localities and “stations” within and around Europe (from Belgium and Italy to Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, up to European postcolonial outposts of French Guiana and Mayotte), it aims at decentering, debordering and at the same time provincializing Europe. For this reason, it inscribes itself both politically and conceptually into a specific abolitionist horizon. By referring to the African-American and feminist approaches (that one of Ruth Gilmore, Angela Davis, and many others), it conceives of such a standpoint, rather than as a gesture of erasure and delete, as a constituent moment that directly counters any prohibitionist border regime, its necropolitical effects and racialized landscape, opening up the possibility for a different, post or decolonial “Europe at large”.

Project at a glance