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Gibraltar-Ceuta Divide

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MSc Studio



Sebas Veldhuisen and Oscar Rommens


EXCLAVES AS APPENDICES: The Strait of Gibraltar

Ceuta, a Spanish exclave on the Moroccan coast, and Gibraltar, a British Crown Colony on the edge of the Spanish mainland, face one another across the Strait of Gibraltar, forming a zone where the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean connect. […] Their turbulent history continues into the present, as the claim for both ‘overseas territories’, by Spain and Morocco, respectively, remains a key political issue. […] These similarities and differences find spatial expression in the different border zones that constitute their territories. From a historical perspective, the orientation of the Strait of Gibraltar has shifted profoundly from the East-West direction of the colonizing conquerors to be replaced with a South-North orientation. […] This shift in orientation also means that the character of the Gibraltar-Ceuta zone has changed: from an open gate that facilitated smooth passage to a closed gate that raises barriers rather than bridging gaps. […] The Gibraltar-Ceuta zone extends beyond its apparent, confined territory from Spain towards Morocco. The borders that mark the different entities within this territory seem straightforward, clear and hard-edged, but upon closer examination they turn out to be blurry, soft, differentiated and complex. These borders are unstable and shift constantly, the condition may change even between day and night. This poses an important challenge to the general idea of the border constituting a concrete and hard-edged dividing line. Proper insight into the border phenomenon, its complexities and multiplicities, can only be achieved by a concise investigation of the ‘daily realities’ that make up these borders. The Gibraltar-Ceuta divide is an extremely subtle, complex and spatially diversified phenomenon that completely lacks the clear-cut appearances the generalized, cliché border image promises.

MSc studio BC, semester 07, 2005-08

Participants: Timoteo d’Alessandro Tavani Aloisi, Juliet Castellani, Vanya Chan, Kasper Hansen, Mang Chon Loi, Chun Hong Lum, Anne Katrin Menke, Annemarie Moen, Petra Pferdmenges, Gaku Takahashi, Fatma Tokyay, Meera Vasudev, Margriet van der Wal, Sarah Wolff.

Mentors: Oscar Rommens, Sebas Veldhuisen, Aage Albers, Elise van Dooren.

Gibraltar-Ceuta Divide
Gibraltar-Ceuta Divide
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