BORDER VIOLENCE BY OTHER MEANS: AN INQUIRY INTO THE EMBODIED EXPERIENCE OF THE SWISS ASYLUM DISPOSITIF
winner of the Global Migration Award 2023
This study explores forms of violence that are both experienced in and produced by the Swiss asylum dispositif. Building on interviews, document analysis, and direct observations, it focuses on the embodied experience of people during their asylum procedure in Switzerland, analyzing the administrative journey they travel through and the heterogenous temporalities and securitized spaces they are subjected to. Using a critical border studies lens, this research situates this form of violence on the broader continuum of border violence endured by people throughout their journey. Characterized by its invisibility—and sometimes invisibilization—this violence is most of the time indirect, difficult to attribute to specific perpetrators, and happens in seemingly non-violent settings at the borders within. The study proposes to use the impact it has on the bodies and minds of people seeking asylum as traces rendering the violence visible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elio Panese is a researcher focusing on mobilities and migration, with a specific interest in the experiences of asylum seekers and the forms of violence within asylum systems. Elio’s methodology involves a combination of interviews, document analysis, and direct observations, aiming to unveil the often invisible aspects of violence experienced by individuals seeking asylum. His work is essential in advancing understanding and fostering discussions around the complexities of border violence and asylum procedures.
ABOUT THE GLOBAL MIGRATION AWARD
The Global Migration Award has been created by the Global Migration Centre in 2013 to promote innovative and high quality research on global migration. The prize rewards a Master student of the Graduate Institute for her/his outsanding thesis in the field of global migration (including mobility, forced or voluntary migration, transnational or internal displacement, citizenship, diaspora and the many other issues linked to the movement of persons). It is delivered each year on a competitive basis following a peer review process, and is open to any Master students of the Graduate Institute regardless of their specialization.
More information about the Global Migration Award