Based on analysis of a bordering encounter that took place in the offices of the Latvian State Border Guard, I trace how bordering produces connections at the same time as it effects separations. Despite being separated by state-based lines of power, participants of the bordering encounter – all former Soviet citizens – recognised each other as ‘normal people’ striving to obtain a ‘normal life’. This connection was enabled by historically formed understanding of shared conditions of life and critical awareness of global power hierarchies. The sociality formed during the bordering encounter invites a rethinking of how distribution of life is negotiated through bordering, and how politics is imagined in relation to borders.
Dzenovska, D. (2014) ‘Bordering Encounters, Sociality and Distribution of the Ability to Live A Normal Life’, Social Anthropology, 22(3): 271-287