WCO Secretary General opens “antiAtlas of Borders” International Research Conference and Exhibition

03 octubre 2013

The WCO Secretary General and the WCO Research Unit participated in the “antiAtlas of Borders International Research Conference and Art-Science Exhibition held in Aix-en-Provence (France) from 30 September to 2 October 2013.

The antiAtlas research programme is co-produced by the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Research - IMéRA (Aix-Marseille University), the Higher School of Art (Aix-en-Provence), the Art-Science Exhibition Curator Isabelle Arvers, and La Compagnie creative arts centre (Marseille), in partnership with the WCO and other institutions.

The title “antiAtlas” highlights the interdisciplinary approaches developed by this innovative two-year programme, in which social scientists, practitioners, artists, engineers and graphic designers from more than 20 countries have come together to examine borders from different perspectives and stimulate debate. The WCO Research Unit has participated actively in this programme, and contributed by presenting several research papers.

The International Conference and Exhibition was organized to present the results of this collaboration, and included topics on border technologies, the border economy, representation and fiction at borders, and the dematerialization of borders. The event was attended by over 200 participants.

WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya delivered an opening address on the WCO vision of borders, the changing functions of Customs as it faces the challenges of the 21st Century, and the role of the WCO in addressing these challenges by accompanying its Members through the development and application of instruments, standards and approaches. He emphasized that the WCO’s role is to think beyond the technical dimensions of borders in order to better respond to the social and political reasons for border regulation. He noted that the multi-disciplinary approach adopted for “antiAtlas” was an inspiring action aimed at building knowledge and enabling fruitful dialogue.

The French Customs Administration was represented by its Director General, Ms. Hélène Crocquevieille, who delivered an address on the evolution of Customs practices at borders.

The antiAtlas Exhibition is open to the public from 2 October to 3 November 2013 at the Aix-en-Provence Museum of Tapestries, from 14 December 2013 to 1 March 2014 at La Compagnie creative arts centre in Marseille, France, and in Joensuu, Finland, in the first half of 2014.