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Between Bare Life and Everyday Life: Spatializing Europe’s Migrant Camps

Architecture_MPS

UCL Press

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      Abstract

      The migrant and refugee camps that proliferated in Europe over recent years reflect extreme, if not bipolar, architectural conditions. While fenced carceral camps with prefabricated units were created top-down by state and municipal authorities, informal makeshift camps of tents and self-made shelters were formed bottom-up along Europe’s migration routes. These contrasting spatial typologies often appear side by side in the open landscapes of rural fields, in urban landscapes at the heart or in the fringes of cities, and in the architectural landscapes of abandoned institutions and facilities such as factories, prisons, airports, and military barracks. The different ways in which camps are created, function, and are managed by multiple and changing actors and sovereignties, substantially influence the form of these spaces. So far, however, the radically different spatial typologies of the camp and the intersections between them have not been comparatively analysed. Based on empirical studies of the recently created migrant camps in Europe, this paper sets out to investigate their various configurations, what they reflect, and how they correspond with the culture and politics that shape them. While this paper mainly focuses on three particular camps in northern France – the container camp in Calais, the makeshift camp in Calais known as the “Jungle,” and La Linière camp in Grande-Synthe – it offers observations and analytical strategies relevant to camp spaces in other spaces and contexts and to camp studies more broadly.

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Perry World House, University of Pennsylvania; Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
            Contributors
            Journal
            Amps
            Architecture_MPS
            UCL Press
            2050-9006
            October 2017
            : 12
            : 1
            10.14324/111.444.amps.2017v12i2.001

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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            Figures: 5, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 0, Pages: 20

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