Border crosser

Border crossers are a specific kind of border subject. Border crossings tend to complicate and redefine the concept of the subject; the border often forces the border crosser to identify herself or himself and even renegotiate their own sense of identity. At the border, border agents may work within a state of exception, able to violate the borders of the self of the border crosser. Border crossers need not be active agents willing their crossings. The border might literally move across a stationary border crosser, or even human individuals. In psychoanalytical theory it is suggested that subjects become subjects by crossing or being crossed by different kinds of borders.

"Border crossings are very special topological events. A kind of metamorphosis, some sort of death and rebirth, something at least that is outside the pure horizontal logic of economic exchange." (Reinhold Görling 157)

There are many kinds of border crossers, including migrants, tourists, businessmen, academics, smugglers, state agents, spies, soldiers, exiles, transgressors, lovers, pioneers, etc. Indeed, the border crosser does not need to be an individual human subject; border crosser can be groups of people, goods, or even information.

For the sake of convenience, unsuccessful border crossers may also be described as border crossers.


  • Görling, Reinhold. "Topology of Borders in Turkish-German Cinema". Border Poetics De-Limited. Eds. Johan Schimanski & Stephen Wolfe. Hannover: Wehrhahn, 2007. 149-162.

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