By Kevin Stoda
In the past, I have written extensively on borders, border crossings and peoples who live there lives on borders. "BorderTowns and Divided Cities, Divided Cultures: Imaginary or Real Walls?" (2003) is one of my most-shared writings on the topic, whereby I had compared the life and imagery of border towns of (1) East and West Berlin, (2) the three cities and three countries of the Basle-St. Louis area--which includes France, Germany, and Switzerland--, and the Texas' Laredo-Nuevo Laredo townships.
In those works, I also made allusions to other divided places, such as the Spanish portion of Morocco's landscape, e.g. the cities of Ceuta and Melilla. Unlike Hong Kong and Macau, which reverted to Chinese control in the late 1990s, the enclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla, situated on the African Mediterranean continue as fully part of Spain in Europe.
As a theme, in the work, "BorderTowns and DividedCities, Divided Cultures: Imaginary or Real Walls?", I had found that there were essentially 3 types of divided public space in border towns and border regions around the world. I feel these 3 metaphors are still helpful to us for visualizing--on a small scale--, the differing levels of globalization that people in various corners of the world feel or perceive today.
AIR-LOCK or DECOMPRESSION CHAMBER
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