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Project aims

The project (2021-2024) investigates the radical transformations of the social and natural landscape caused by the construction of a wildlife fence stretching the length of the Danish border with Germany. It will analyse how national spaces and borders are co-produced through the spatial strategies of fencing, discourses of biosecurity and the invasive other.

In June 2018 Danish lawmakers authorized a 70-kilometer long fence along the Danish-German border to prevent the migration of wild boars and the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF), a risk and economic threat to Danish pork export. The process of fencing to prevent the intrusion of feral species and thereby limit the risk of wildlife diseases has for long been a contentious topic among pig farmers, environmental organizations, politicians and borderland communities who are in disagreement about its utility.

Although narratives justifying the border barriers are focusing on external factors like ASF, we are posing the question whether the new barriers are more than just a biosecurity defence against external threats. It is the project’s hypotheses that biosecurity barriers, besides being a key driver for the reordering of the natural and social landscape and a general hightened securityzation of the borderland, also provide important insights into the particular ways in which potentially invasive and feral species like wild boars are portrayed and debated. Such imageries offer new understandings about the nature of popular anxieties about the invasive ‘other’ - non-human and human - and clues to the political responses that are developed to counter these anxieties.

The project explores how technological interventions like wildlife fencing relate to larger political narratives of walls, borders and flows. The project thus investigates two interlinked aspects of fencing - the fence as a biosecurity barrier and as metaphor of exclusion and inclusion.