Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

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The Noborder Movement: Interpersonal Struggle with Political Ideals

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Abstract:  Over the last decade, self-organized refugee protests in Europe have increased. One strand of activism in Europe, noborder, involves a transnational network of people who are heterogeneous with regards to legal status, race, or individual history of migration, but who share decolonial, anti-capitalist ideals that criticize the nation-state. Noborder activists embrace prefigurative strategies, which means enacting political ideals in their everyday life. This is why this article asks: How do noborder activists try to meet their political ideals in their everyday practices, and what effects do these intentions entail? Noborder practices take place at the intersection of self-organization as a reference to migrants’ legal status or identity, on the one hand, and self-organization as anti-hierarchical forms of anarchist-autonomous organization, on the other. On the basis of empirical findings of a multi-sited ethnography in Germany and Greece, this article conceptualizes that noborder creates a unique space for activists to meet in which people try to work productively through conflicts they see as being produced by a global system of inequalities. This demanding endeavor involves social pressure to self-reflect and to transform interpersonal relationships. Broader society could learn from such experiences to build more inclusive, heterogeneous communities.

Keywords:  activism; asylum; everyday politics; noborder; prefiguration; protest; refugee protest; self-organization; social movements



© Leslie Gauditz. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.