Zuzanna Kleban, Zuzanna Kwiatkowska, Anna Potasznik, Filip Reszke, Maria Strzelecka
web installation, 2023

Fortification and information. The process of so-called “border sealing”

Over the past 30 years, European Union countries have built more than 1,000 kilometers of border fences. The construction of steel structures is intended to improve the functioning of border guards, reduce the number of illegal border crossings and increase internal security. It may seem that the infrastructure partially fulfills its purpose, but it is definitely not a solution to the problem – it only causes the problem to shift elsewhere, and often leads to the suffering of innocent people, their injury or death.

Over the past few years more and more information has begun to appear in the media, related to the topic of migratory situations at the EU borders. Narratives are often conducted in an incoherent manner, the amount of information is overwhelming and not all significant facts are easily available. Therefore, we are attempting to create an interactive archive depicting the multifaceted process of fortification and strengthening of EU borders. We began our research focusing on the Polish-Belarusian border, where a “modern” security infrastructure wall was recently built.

We research, verify, and present information found in publicly available sources; we review documents, reports, news articles, social media posts and videos. For the purpose of aggregating, archiving and later sharing the found information, we have created an interactive media platform, wallobserver.eu. It slowly expands with information on documented migrant stories, migration rights in the EU, border zones, barriers on the EU borders and inside the EU, which we attempt to organize. We collect legal documents, observe the actions of non-governmental organizations and individuals that are changing the future of migratory situations, and analyze the impact of governmental actions and physical infrastructure on the lives of many people. The site is run in English in order to reach a wider audience.

You can spend some time on the site, browse the articles, and try to understand the complexity of the migratory situations. You can also share the website on social media – spreading our work and research. We encourage you to add data to the archive – share articles, information about NGOs or any other content related to fortifications on the EU’s external borders. Above all, we would like to contribute to raising awareness on the migratory situation and the process of “border proofing” in an accessible way. We strive to follow and present information in an unbiased form, so that users can form their own opinions about migratory situations and the accompanying policies in various European countries.

We are an interdisciplinary group of researchers, designers and artists who work under the auspices of the Humanities/Art/Technology Research Center of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. Our team comes from diverse academic backgrounds, including computer science, computer animation, intermedia, sound direction and

Zuzanna Kleban
She holds a degree in Sound Direction from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Personally, she is interested in all kinds of interactive art, issues of musical analysis and distant travel coloured by a good film.

Zuzanna Kwiatkowska
Her educational path led her through music publicity at the I. J. Paderewski Academy of Music and aviation at Poznan University of Technology. In her professional path, she tries to combine editing with elements of psychology and politics; she is also passionate about visual art, especially intermedia graphics and glassblowing.

Filip Reszke
Graduate of Computer Science and Econometrics at the Poznań University of Economics. Actively participates in the Impuls Foundation in order to carry out activities for the benefit of the community of the younger generation. He is interested not only in ecology, equality and education, but also in modern technologies, strategic analysis of enterprises and digital transformation.

Anna Potasznik
Graduated in Graphic Design with a specialisation in “Interactive Media and Animation” at Collegium Da Vinci in Poznań. In art, she cares about both a deep narrative layer and a precise visual zone.

Maria Strzelecka
A graduate of Cognitive Science at the University of Warsaw, her path led through the Academy of Photography – she is also currently studying Intermedia at the University of Arts in Poznan. Her work explores the performatics of the vulnerability of urban spaces (and beyond), exploring contexts of safety, comfort and community care.