Original English texts for the prints
in the13th Biennial International of Contemporary Printmaking, Trois-Rivières
1/ Spain-Morocco Border Barrier at Ceuta
Length of Barrier: 8 km / 5 mi
Length of Border: 8 km / 5 mi
Date Started: 1993
Phases: 1st fence, 2.5metre/8.2ft built by Spain
1995: 2nd fence, parallel, 3m/9.8ft
2005: 3rd parallel fence added, 6m/20 ft
Built by: Spain, EU
Ceuta and Melilla are two tiny Spanish territories about 400 km / 250 mi apart, located on the Mediterranean coast of Africa, bordering Morocco. Each of these territories are completely surrounded by barriers.
Two parallel fences, plus the original fence, with barbed and concertina wire. Outer fence is 6 M / 20 ft high. Surveillance includes video cameras, microphones, infrared cameras, watch towers, military patrols, helicopter patrols. Ceuta and Melilla are included in Spain’s Integrated System of External Surveillance (SIVE), which operates elaborate high-tech surveillance of Spain’s maritime borders.
Purpose & Context:
Anti-migration. Makeshift refugee camps near the border face violent harassment and raids from Moroccan security forces. Groups of migrants periodically storm the fences in large numbers to overwhelm Spanish patrols, in hopes that just one or two people might succeed in entering Ceuta or Melilla/the European Union.
2/ Turkey-Syria Border Barrier
Length of Barrier: 828 km /515 mi
Length of Border: 909 km /565 mi
Date Started: 2014
Date Finished: 2018
Built By: Turkey
The entire accessible length of the border.
7-ton concrete blocks topped with razor wire. Each block is 3 M/ 10 ft high and 2 M / 6.5 ft wide. Fortified with 120 surveillance towers, military patrols, thermal cameras, land surveillance radar, remote-controlled weapons systems, imaging systems and seismic and acoustic sensors.
Purpose & Context:
Anti-migration. Turkey accepted nearly 3 million, mostly Syrian, refugees through this border. Many people have continued migrating into Europe. But as European countries began barricading their borders, Turkey built the wall to prevent further migration. The EU and Turkey have made several deals to control migration into the EU including financial incentives to Turkey for retaining refugees, forced return of migrants to Turkey, and re-opening talks of Turkey joining EU.
3/ India-Bangladesh Border Barrier
Length of Barrier: 3140 km /1950 mi
Length of Border: 4097 km /2545 mi
Date Started: late-1980s
Phases: 2008, 2010 and ongoing upgrades and technological enhancements
Built by: India
The barrier follows the border, known as the Radcliffe Line, named for Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who in 1947 drew the boundary partitioning British India, despite never having been in the country nor having met anyone there. The barrier intermittently follows the entire border, which almost completely encircles Bangladesh, intersecting numerous villages and communities.
Parallel 2.5 M / 8 ft barbed-wire fences on either side of double rolls of barbed wire. Some sections electrified. Brick walls divide some villages. Underwater sonar sensors are used in delta areas. Surveillance includes system of flood lights, underground sonar and armed patrols. Some areas are unfenceable but heavily patrolled.
Purpose & Context:
Anti-migration, anti -cattle and -drug smuggling. The barrier has divided families and communities. Most of the migrants are Bangladeshis trying to cross for economic, family, health or environmental reasons. Reportedly this is one of the most dangerous borders in the world. The border guards are known to lethally shoot people with impunity, causing as many as 6 deaths per month in some years.
4/ Korean Demilitarized Zone, South Barrier
Length of Barrier: 248 km/154 mi
Length of Border: 248 km/154 mi
Date Started: 1953
Built by: North Korea, China, UN
The barrier between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea), known as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), is a fortified area of land and barricades centred on the cease-fire line agreed in the 1953 Korean Armistice. The barrier bisects the Korean peninsula coast to coast.
From the cease-fire line, the DMZ extends 1 km / 0.6 mi each to the North and to the South. It is one of the most heavily militarized borders in the world. Both the North and South sides are lined with tall barbed wire fencing and patrolled by thousands of soldiers with tanks and artillery on location, and over 1 million landmines throughout. An additional fenced buffer zone extends to the South ranging from 5-20 km / 3-12 mi. Parts of the DMZ where human activity is forbidden have become rich and diverse natural habitats spanning mountains, prairies and marshes. In accessible areas, both North and South present the DMZ as a “family-friendly” tourist attraction, offering tours of the place where the Armistice was signed, souvenir shops and binoculars to gain a glimpse of the mysterious other side.
Purpose & Context:
At end of World War II, Korea was divided along the 38th parallel, resulting in USSR-occupied North and USA-occupied South. Northern invasion of the South in 1950 instigated the devastating Korean War. The 1953 Armistice was not a peace agreement, the DMZ was established, and the Koreas remain technically at war. No one is legally allowed to cross the border and families are permanently separated. Despite a brief thaw in 2018, and recent talk of declaring an end to the war, relations between North and South remain strained and volatile.