• Part of
    Ubiquity Network logo
    Publish with us Download book proposal form

    Read Chapter
  • No readable formats available
  • Spotlights in the Middle of Nowhere: Everyday Marginality and ‘the Border’ on Lampedusa

    Laust Lund Elbek

    Chapter from the book: Rommel C. & Viscomi J. 2022. Locating the Mediterranean: Connections and Separations across Space and Time.


    A main entry point for boat migrants, the Italian island of Lampedusa is a strategically important and highly symbolic location on Europe’s Mediterranean border, and, owing to heavy militarisation and political and media attention, the island has acquired a central place in national as well as European political imaginaries. Yet, for the island’s population of 6,000, things look rather different. Rather than a fixation point for political attention, Lampedusa is experienced by its inhabitants as a deeply marginal place with weak ties to the mainland and, by extension, the border, which is described by locals as ‘not our business’. Drawing inspiration from Doreen Massey, the chapter argues that Lampedusa’s simultaneous centrality and marginality should not be understood as a kind of paradox to be ‘solved’ but as the outcome of different, yet overlapping, political histories that go well beyond the island itself. Lampedusa thus testifies to ‘location’ as a potentially multiple concept that never stands on its own but is inherently constituted in relation to other locations across time and space. By approaching the Mediterranean as both a periphery and politically important border zone, the chapter draws together two ethnographically well-known ‘Mediterraneans’ that are typically studied in separate contexts.

    Chapter Metrics:

    How to cite this chapter
    Elbek, L. 2022. Spotlights in the Middle of Nowhere: Everyday Marginality and ‘the Border’ on Lampedusa. In: Rommel C. & Viscomi J (eds.), Locating the Mediterranean. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.33134/HUP-18-2

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

    Peer Review Information

    This book has been peer reviewed. See our Peer Review Policies for more information.

    Additional Information

    Published on July 6, 2022


    comments powered by Disqus