“Exploring the Meaning of Borders in an Interconnected World”, Amanda Ribichini (IAI, Italy) 

The word “border” carries much complexity. It encompasses many facets of the human condition, from purely geographical locations to intangible beliefs and personal or individual traits. Yet, today, the term border is often manipulated, coupled with verbs or adjectives that aim to emphasise its importance or demonise its significance; the border has increasingly become a stigma, used indiscriminately by all political forces, with some calling for its demolition and others its strengthening. Frequently, borders tend to be considered as vestiges of a now deceased past or as a sort of chimera, a utopia whose return is preached as a solution to many everyday challenges. Yet, the term border is not just a word: the border exists, it is there, and there are people who inhabit it. By examining the case of the Italian-Slovenian border crossing in the Italian town of Gorizia, one can understand if the border itself has actually lost value in today’s world, or if it still retains traces of its past significance.

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