Border violence by other means an inquiry into the embodied experience of the Swiss asylum disp...


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. 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. It is then characterized by its invisibility—and sometimes invisibilization. In that sense, this study also proposes to use the impact it has on the bodies and minds of people seeking asylum as traces rendering the violence visible.