‘Everyone Creates One's Own Borders’: The Dutch–German Borderland as Representation
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SourceGeopolitics, 9, 3, (2004), pp. 627-648
Article / Letter to editor
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When examining the internal borders of the European Union in the context of their purportedly official demise following European integration, structural obstacles to cross-border interaction are normally taken into consideration while ignoring borders in people's minds. Approaching this lacuna, the author proposes to understand borders as being constituted by imaginations and representations, and as undergoing a constant reconfiguring through social relations. This article explores the meanings of the Dutch–German border expressed in popular representations that commonly employ national stereotypes. Against the background of ‘popular geopolitics’, and applying semiotics as methodology, the author presents a theatre play on the Dutch–German border as a complex but popular representation. Analysis of the theatre play also focuses on its audiences and the reception of the play by children. This permits to address people's readings of popular representations in order to approach the question of why borders persist in people's lives.
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