Facing the current growing global archipelago of encampments - including concentration, detention, transit, identification, refugee, military and training camps, this project intends to develop a geographical reflection on ‘the camp’, as a modern institution and as a spatial bio-political technology. In particular, it focuses on past and present camp geographies and on the apparatus of dispositifs that make them an ever-present spatial formation in the management of custody and care characterizing many authoritarian regimes as well as many contemporary democracies.
From detention and refugee camps for displaced people, through camps for terrorist suspects, to Roma and homeless camps – the camp is considered here as an in-between space that orders, segregates and excludes the ‘remnants’ who, according to state authorities, cannot be qualified and spatialized otherwise. While some of these camps are constructed as designated sites of control, custody and care by state and international powers, other camps are created as spontaneous makeshift spaces. In their rural or urban locations, these spaces greatly differ in the ways they are constructed and managed. This project also investigate possible ways to resist present-day proliferating manifestations of camp and ‘camp thinking’, by calling for the incorporation of ‘camp studies’ into the broader field of political geography to considering the geographies of the camp as constitutive hubs of much broader, modern geo-political economies.