Dimitris Dalakoglou, University of Sussex, gives a talk for the Arrival Cities COMPAS Seminar Series.
In 2010, it was reported that out of the 510 border guards employed in the country, 473 were, in fact, serving in Athens. Indeed, deployment of border guards in cities has become standard practice these days; for example, in the summer of 2013 UKBA organized a large-scale operation in London’s underground stations stopping and checking migrants and people of migratory origin. This urbanisation of security and military techniques developed supposedly to protect the borders of a nation-state from a military attack is just part of a wider process which reconfigures the social class divisions in Western European metropolises. This new political economy which often passes over the bodies and lives of non-Western migrants, at the time of crisis, finds one of its major materialisations in the centre of Athens along the Greek part of the common European borders. This paper, drawing from an 18-month long ethnography in Athens, will attempt to set a light to the urban everydayness that follows the current financial crisis.