{__The Eile Project__}

BORDER-FICTIONING



The pairing of borders + fiction is not new, as can be seen in writing of Claudia Sadowski-Smith in "Border Fictions: Globalization, Empire, and Writing at the Boundaries of the United States" as well as a plethora of fictional work on borders.
    These ‘human’ made borders might themselves be seen as fictions – places that are created and re-produced and rein-forced. But, in their materialising they have impacts on not only people but on other animals and ‘life’ (organic and inorganic) which are affected by their spatial manifestations. They are a force of containment of separation, division and exclusion and powerful expressions of pallogocentrism.

    But, for all their seeming fixity, borders change. In the deep time of the cosmos, most ‘human’ borders are younglings and have already been through many changes. One other characteristic of borders that moved us to develop the idea of border-fictioning is that, again, though made to contain those living in and around borders, have always transgressed and dreamed of overcoming. The birds fly though and over borders, the rain falls, moss grows and roots penetrate through. For human of the border, this is seen, for example, in the rise of Chicana/o literature in late 1960s. Most influentially for this work was the work of Anzaldúa, in Borderlands: La Frontera (2007), with her take on the US border with the idea of border as having both discursive and material dimensions. She creates a new mestiza consciousness from the borderland, which is the space that is affected by the borderline. messing with the apparatus that was used to inscribe her as belonging to the outside of the border. Anzaldúa refuses the border and instead she develops an expanded meaning of potential – as way of subverting the border.

    Fictioning allows a process of splicing, superimposing, and making lacunae which might cut familiar associations and relations of space, time and subjectivity and in doing so suggests other conceptualisation of the urban socio-spatial realm. The borderlands require such re-conceptualisations, like the strange zones that Georgio Agamben descibes in the post-urban city.

    If we step in with fictioning at this point, fictioning another act of border-fighting through expanding the border, as well as subverting, and re-workng and re-imagining it into something else. Simon O’Sullivan provides some helpful thinking of the role of fictioning within contemporary art: This collapsing of hitherto separate worlds – and the concomitant production of a ‘new’ landscape, a new platform for dreaming – is another definition of fictioning, especially when it is no longer clear where the fiction itself ends and so-called reality begins (or where reality ends and the fiction begins). Fictioning inserts itself into the real in this sense – into the world as-it-is (indeed, it collapses the so-called real and the fictional), but, in so doing, it necessarily augments and, indeed, changes our rea-lity (not least as, again, it summons an audience that is appropriate and adequate to it). This is fictioning as mythopoeisis: the imaginative transformation of the world through fiction.” Simon O’Sullivan Myth-fictioning, 2017.

    The idea of border-fictioning then is born out of some of the thinking introduced here. As a method to work with the very realness of what is happening on the UK/Irish border site while also inserting into that something other, something that might augment and change the reality.



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