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This article traces three different political imaginaries about borders, suggesting that the dominant imaginary—the one of border walls, driven by a fear of invasion—is only one way to live in the world. The goal is to make space in our political imaginations to rethink how we live together, including thinking beyond nation-states as containers that keep people in or out. By first showing how the vision of invasion is built and maintained with intersecting transnational technologies and ideologies, I open the way to thinking otherwise. Second, I trace the counterpolitics of borders developed by artists and activists, resisting borders and walls, as they work towards the end goal of freedom of movement. Finally, I turn to more speculative visions; I argue that we need to create room for alter-visions or alterpolitics—parallel alternatives to the current political order, which differ from oppositional politics. To this end, I read across the fields of immunology and anthropology in order to open an alter-political imaginary based on xenophilia, rather than xenophobia.


This article was originally published in Borderlands Journal, available at

This work is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).



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