Border city resilience and ‘covidfencing’: the twin city of TornioHarapanda
with Eeva-Kaisa Prokkola (University of Oulu, Finland)
Hybrid event
Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)
Maison des Sciences Humaines
11, Porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette / Belval
Salle de conférence (1st floor)
11:00 am
12:30 pm
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The presentation discusses the effects of Covid-19 border restrictions on EU-internal borders and how the restrictions were adapted to, coped with and resisted in the border twin city of TornioHaparanda, located at the Finnish-Swedish border. Changing Covid-19 border restrictions exemplify how the responses to the pandemic rendered state territoriality visible in the city space in ways that many people had never experienced before. The continuously changing rules of ‘covidfencing’ had considerable influence on the everyday routines and social-economic environment of the border city dwellers, causing additional stress and confusion during the pandemic. To adhere the multiple and continuous disruptions that the border dwellers needed to cope with, the presentation employs the concept of borderland resilience (Andersen & Prokkola 2022) that directs attention to adaptive and transformative practices of borderlanders during the Covid-19 state of exception as well as the resistance towards the state-imposed restrictions. Border cities are interesting sites for studying resilience because they enable us to gain an understanding of the politics of resilience and how resilience may mean different things in different places and times. The presentation responds to the call for increased attention to political contestation and normative understanding in resilience and the relationship between resilience and borders.


Eeva-Kaisa Prokkola is Professor of Geography at the University of Oulu and holds the Title of Docent in Human Geography and Border Studies at the University of Eastern Finland. She has extensive experience in conceptual and empirical studies of borders, borderlands, border cities, spatial identity and identity narratives. She has published widely on European internal and external border regions in internationally reclaimed journals and co-edited several border themed books.

Supported by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (RESCOM/2021/16537536)

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