Skip to content

The Geopolitics of Borders: From Security to Solidarity in Sicily


Palermo, Italy Summer I, 2024

Global Refugees Crisis Dialogue: Sicily and Florence, 2023
Global Refugees Crisis Dialogue: Sicily and Florence, 2023. Student Group photo in Florence, Italy.

Summer 1, 2024

Updated 12/3/23
Please note: the original program itinerary has been modified by the Global Safety Office. The entirety of the trip will be spent in Sicily.

One of the main ironies of our times is that we are feeling less safe and more fearful in a world that is increasingly securitized. In the aftermath of the break of Syrian civil war, Europe fell into a major “security crisis” referred often as the “refugee crisis” owing to the first mass influx of refugees from outside of Europe. Against the backdrop of tightened border control and rise of anti- immigrant sentiments and policies in Europe since 2016, this Dialogue demonstrates how border cities take on innovative roles and political agency in building solidarity with refugees and migrants.

In the context of massive refugee flow, we will explore Palermo in Italy, a border city at Europe’s violent borders with the Middle East. We will examine how border cities shape the perception and experience of safety and fear of human mobility. As border cities resist to and negotiate with anti- immigration regimes of Europe, they carve out safe places and generate urban practices of inclusion and protection. Unlike “secured” places detectable by the politics of fear, safe places visited in this Dialogue are distinguished by inclusion and protection of vulnerable populations. The safety of Muslim and Black refugees and asylum seekers, the most vulnerable category of our times, falls to the center of analysis in the post 9-11 context of rising xenophobia, Islamophobia, and anti-Muslim racism. The broader implication of this seminar is to question the interplay between security states and the border cities that receive and accommodate large numbers of Muslim and Black refugees and migrants. We will explore how the security regime and the border city on refugee roads interact and negotiate at Europe’s racial borders with the Middle East. We will pay particular attention to native-migrant solidarity in Palermo .

For more information, please see the Global Experience Office website found here.

Dialogue Student, Diego Maldonado, created a website of the 2023 trip. Check it out!

Information Session (updated):
Join us for a virtual Info Session on Tuesday, November 28th at 4pm on Zoom


Recorded Information Session (2021) can be found here. To view event, login with your myNortheastern account.

DOC Global Refugees, Palermo, Italy
DOC Global Refugees, Palermo Cathedral
DOC Global Refugees, Agrigento, Italy
DOC Global Refugees, Giocherenda Shop, Palermo, Italy
DOC Global Refugees, Palermo Cathedral, Italy
DOC Global Refugees, Palermo Marina, Sicily
DOC Global Refugees, Palermo, Sicily