Towards a New Art of Border Crossing

Towards a New Art of Border Crossing

Edited by Ananta Kumar Giri
Arnab Roy Chowdhury
David Blake Willis

The new art of border-crossing is inspired by a new politics, art, and a spirituality of shared sovereignties and non-sovereignties. This border-crossing challenges us to do creative, aesthetic, ethical, political and spiritual work in the fields of not only physical borders and bounded territories but also cultural, social, intellectual and civilizational borders.

Hardback, 250 Pages


August 2024

£80.00, $110.00

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About This Book

Boundaries, borders and margins are related concepts and realities, and each of these can be conceptualized and organized in closed or open ways—with degrees of closure or openness. The logics of statis and closure, as well as cults of exclusivist and exclusionary sovereignty, are reflected and embodied in the closed xenophobic conceptualization and organization of boundaries, borders and margins. But, an open conceptualization of the borderlands, where mixing and hybridity take place at a rapid, even dizzying, pace, gives rise to Creolization—at the threshold of sovereignties, as something that can also be imagined.

At present, our border zones are spaces of anxiety-ridden security arrangements, violence and death. The existing politics of boundary maintenance is wedded to a cult of sovereignty at various levels, which produces bare lives, bodies and lands. We need the new art of border-crossing to bedefined by the notion of camaraderie and shared sovereignties and non-sovereignties. Border zones can also be zones of meetings, communication, transcendence and festive celebration of the limits of our identities. Thus, we need a new art and politics of boundary transmutation, transformation and transcendence, in the broadest possible sense, that entails the production of spatial, scalar, somatic, cognitive, affective and spiritual transitions.

Crossing Borders is a powerful theme and metaphor for all of us in the midst of COVID-19 (since 2020) and the current geopolitics of war that is hovering over Eurasia. We need these modes of knowing and being that shun violence; ontologies that are fluid and seeking instead of aggressive, self-certain, arrogant and violent. Amidst this chaos, we need new modes of knowing, or epistemologies, where knowing of, or about, the other is also a festive and artistic process of knowing with the other. We need an artistic ontological-epistemology of participation for a new art of border-crossing where the boundary between ontology and epistemology is continually redrawn with emergent negotiation and creativity.


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Author Information

Ananta Kumar Giri is a professor (sociology and anthropology) at the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Arnab Roy Chowdhury is an assistant professor (sociology) at the Higher School of Economics Moscow (HSE) University, Moscow, Russian Federation.

David Blake Willis is a professor of anthropology and education at Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California, USA. 


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