The borderscape of punta tarifa: Concurrent invisibilisation practices at europe’s ultimate Peninsula

Xavier Ferrer-Gallardo, Abel Albet-Mas, Keina Espiñeira

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    3 Citations (Scopus)


    © The Author(s) 2014. This contribution aims to provide a cultural–geographical reading of the borderscape of Punta Tarifa: the southernmost point of so-called continental Europe and a key site vis-a-vis material and representational Euro-African (dis)connections. It is argued that Punta Tarifa harbours a complex process of symbolic and functional invisibilisation that turns this border landscape into a highly significant scenario within the ongoing European Union bordering process. This invisibilisation process is twofold. On the one hand, it lies with the selective public neglecting/ignoring of a crucial historical episode which challenges mainstream readings of Europe’s cultural heritage (the arrival of Tarif and Islam to Tarifa in the year 710). On the other hand, it concerns the veiling of the implemented migration management practices and, more precisely, the opacity surrounding the Migrant Detention Centre situated by Punta Tarifa. Having explored the case of Punta Tarifa, we suggest that a cultural–geographical reading – and hence the shedding of some light – on these and other similar invisibilisation processes is paramount in order to neutralise symbolic and functional exclusionary practices which lie at the heart of current European Union external bordering dynamics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)539-547
    JournalCultural Geographies
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


    • Borderscape
    • European Union
    • Migrant detention centre
    • Punta Tarifa
    • Strait of Gibraltar
    • Tarif


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