Reel Borders studies how borders are imagined through film

Reel Borders is a 5-year research project focusing on the relations between film and borders. It studies how for the past 120 years film has been used to imagine borders in diverse ways. Acknowledging that borders are more than territorial lines or infrastructures, the project also considers questions of belonging, identity and imagination.

Reel Borders approaches this topic through different societal actors such as governmental institutions, artists and activists, asking how they use film to construct, contest or experience the border. The often blurred boundaries between fiction and non-fiction film are a fruitful starting point to explore these questions.

Reel Borders concentrates on 3 borderlands and regions: the Irish border, the Spanish-Moroccan border and its Ceuta and Melilla exclaves, and the Turkish-Syrian border. Methodologically, the project combines film analysis, expert interviews, production analysis and participatory filmmaking.

Below you find further information about the case studies in each map. More information about methodology will be added as the project progresses.

Reel Borders received funding from the European Research Council, Starting Grant (#948278, 2021-2026) and is based at the Communication Department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

︎   ︎

Funded by the European Research Council.
Starting Grant #948278

The Reel Borders logo is designed by Joris Bochman
The Reel Borders website was built by Irene Gutiérrez and Silvia Almenara-Niebla