At the annual CAPA symposium in March we discussed these inter-connected themes because they are crucial to the theory and practice of education abroad. They will also be explored in greater depth in our next Occasional Publication (May 2018). The notions are problematic, made complex by history and contemporary dynamics. A myriad of factors including technological change, political will, prejudice, aspiration, ethical practice, competing ideologies shape the ways in which we perceive borders, and understand mobility and migration. In addition, the question of mobility signifies a distinction between privilege and dispossession on a global scale; critically, do you have a choice, and can you go home again?
Crossing borders is at the heart of our endeavours in education abroad. These borders may be geographically defined or, like nations, be political inventions. They may also be metaphorically constructed, as the perceived barriers between ourselves and the unfamiliar. They are also not static: political borders and nations come and go. Where is Yugoslavia? In An Atlas of Countries that Don’t Exist (London: 2015), Nick Middleton supplies examples of 50 countries whose borders are now matters of aspiration or imagination. In our living memories, the map of Europe has been redefined.Continue Reading