The wall with a view of Europe: two long years of the EU–Belarus border crisis

Photo credit: Marcin on Adobe Stock

Event details


Date & time

Thursday 21 September 2023


Jean Martin Room, Level 3, Beryl Rawson Building, 13 Ellery Cres, ANU


Dr Kasia Williams, Deputy Director, Centre for European Studies, ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences


Sverre Molland

The humanitarian crisis on the EU-Belarus border has been unfolding since mid-2021, mostly out of public sight. Increasingly anxious about the raising numbers of people dying on the forested border, the EU came to realize that “this is the moment now for a European migration management policy” to gain speed (Ursula von der Leyen). In the meantime, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia declared a state of emergency, accusing Belarussian President Lukashenko of using migrants as weapons for a hybrid war aimed to threaten the security of the EU.

In June 2022, Poland completed a 5.5-metre-high steel wall on a 186-kilometre border to deter migrants entering from Belarus. Yet, the wall has neither stopped migrants nor prevented unnecessary deaths, illegal pushbacks or violence. Today, the tough measures employed at the border continue to be seen, on the one hand, as flagrant violation of human rights, and on the other hand, as necessary and unavoidable. And while Europe can indeed step up to a challenge – as it’s response to millions of Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion has shown – it can also, and at the same time, rationalize the crisis and accept the normalization of violence.

This event is presented in person and online. Please see Zoom details below.

About the speaker

Dr Katarzyna K Williams is Deputy Director of the ANU Centre for European Studies. Her research focuses on migrant cultures and diaspora, particularly life narratives, issues of displacement and transcultural experience. She is also interested in memory studies, memorialization and the politics of memory.

This series is spearheaded by the ANU Migration Hub hosted at RegNet, in collaboration with the School of Archaeology and Anthropology.

For online attendance, see Zoom details below:
(Meeting ID: 865 5770 1787. Password: 836061)

Photo credit: By Marcin on Adobe Stock

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet