The new refugee ‘Balkan Route’: Field notes from the Bosnian border

Author/s Claudio Minca, Dragan Umek
Publishing Year 2020 Issue 2020/1 Language English
Pages 30 P. 5-34 File size 445 KB
DOI 10.3280/RGI2020-001001
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This article is one of the results of an ongoing project focussed on the refugee Balkan Route, which began in 2015. In adopting a style and structure that have been deliberately conceived as a first hand fieldnote-based account, we discuss the informal mobilities of refugees in Bosnia-Herzegovina after the country was incorporated in the Balkan Route in 2018. In particular, we investigate how this change in the Route has impacted the Bosnian Canton of Una-Sana with the arrival of thousands of refugees in the cities of Bihac and Velika Kladusa. After discussing in detail the emergence of several makeshift and semi-formal camps in these two cities, and the related difficult living conditions experienced by a growing number of refugees waiting to cross the Croatian border and enter the EU, the article concludes with a few general considerations on the geopolitical relevance of the new Balkan Route and on how the border politics in the region tends to be, literally, ‘marked’ on the bodies of the refugees.

Keywords: Balkan Route, Bosnia, refugee camps, geopolitics, border politics.

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Claudio Minca, Dragan Umek, The new refugee ‘Balkan Route’: Field notes from the Bosnian border in "RIVISTA GEOGRAFICA ITALIANA" 1/2020, pp 5-34, DOI: 10.3280/RGI2020-001001