imagen estherortiz
Esther Ortiz

Periodista digital especializada en Cultura y Relaciones Internacionales, entendiendo la primera como la variedad de expresiones políticas y sociales que se generan en un contexto concreto. Gestora cultural de proyectos locales de desarrollo comunitario. Activista por el derecho a un empleo y a una vivienda digna en varios colectivos ciudadanos.

Equidad de género

Overcoming the wall

Autora: Esther Ortiz

At one time walls were built to protect the city from looters, invaders and others threats. Globalization has meant more barriers for people but less control on financial flows.


Historically the city was walled in to be protected (such as the Roman civité, the African fenced villages or the Latin American cities in post-Columbian era) The Berlin wall fall, the USSR disintegration and then globalization heralded a “total free world” without walls. However, they have been endlessly built especially after September 11th.


Currently walls stop migratory movements from South to North, split communities involved in deep-rooted conflicts and separate world areas in steady tension and weapons race. The wall divides “security” from “insecurity”, “salvation” from “chaos”, “we” from “the others”. On the other hand it may be a place for proposals and claims.


Claiming is the key step, especially in migratory field as well as its cause and the violation of migrant people rights. Other important point is bringing up those-legal and illegal- business around border controls or conflicts areas.
Algunos datos
Walls divide countries (Palestine, India and Bangladesh, the 38th parallel as the boundary between the Koreas, the island of Cyprus) and also block migratory flows (the Mexico-USA border, the anti-migrant fence completed by Greece on the Turkish border in 2012 or the Ceuta and Melilla border fences).
The Industrial Revolution made cities expand outside their walls. As a result of extreme inequality, gated communities within largest cities in underdeveloped countries are coming up in order to isolate superrich people from inner violence and crime.
Autor/a: The Economist, The Americas print version
Fuente: The Economist
Tipo: Publicación 
Idioma: English
Fecha: 16-08-2001
The Berlin wall fall, the USSR desintegration and then globalization heralded a “total free world” where walls had no sense at all. However, they have been endlessly built especially after September 11th.
Autor/a: Arthur Kallmayer and Global Research News
Fuente: Global Research, Center for Global Research and Globalization
Tipo: Web 
Idioma: English. Originally published in Russian.
Fecha: 24-04-2013
En primera persona
By its own definition, a wall divides or delimits a place. Most the times that implies either splitting whole families or hampering the day-to-day routine up to become it a real nightmare. Sometimes is the difference between life and death; open water swimming, or thousands of miles on foot.
In the 80s the word wall was referred to the division of the Western World into two hostile blocks or to apparently unsolvable conflicts such as Northern Ireland’s where the walls still remain. In 2014 the work is synonymous with conflicts, world divisions (developed/underdeveloped countries) and their consequences.
Autor/a: RNE public broadcaster, Países en conflicto radio show
Fuente: RNE
Tipo: Web 
Idioma: Spanish
Fecha: 29-04-2013
Just in the European Union 12,000 people died trying to get to “Paradise”.
Clave 1
At the present, walls are built to block South-North migratory movements; to split communities in constant tension and split areas of the world where the weapons race is taking place.
For the first time the UN assesses how migration impacts on the migrant peoples´ wellbeing as well as other migratory flows apart from South to North.
Autor/a: IOM (International Migration Organization)
Fuente: IOM (International Migration Organization)
Tipo: Publicación 
Idioma: English, Spanish and French
Fecha: 17-02-2019
The thousands of kilometers of walls built in the last three decades reinforce the idea of “fortress” areas where illegal businesses blossom including illegal arms trade.
Autor/a: Mark Rice-Oxley and a group of The Guardian’s correspondents
Fuente: The Guardian
Tipo: Publicación 
Idioma: English
Fecha: 19-11-2013
Clave 2
The wall divides “security” from “insecurity”, “salvation” from “chaos”, “we” from “the others”. It is the atavistic fear of the unknown.
Before physically building the wall it is necessary to build it psychologically and mentally on some sort of prejudice, fear or bigotry in order to keep it.
Autor/a: Yanko Tsvetkov
Fuente: Atlas of Prejudice
Tipo: Publicación 
Idioma: English
Fecha: 28-03-2014
It seems to be proven by recent studies that those people with an authoritarian worldview are prone to reject both migration and any political integration process due to the extreme defense of their social or national identity.
Clave 3
The wall can also become a place for political protest and denunciation.
In addition to the worldwide famous Berlin Belfast walls andBansky’s work walls, walls have historically been places for artistic expression.
Autor/a: JR and Marco
Fuente: French graffiti artist JR’s website
Tipo: Video [00:05:30]
Idioma: English
Fecha: 17-02-2019
Back in the Middle Age walls were conceived for oppressed social groups as a place for social expression, graffiti being their language.
Autor/a: José Ignacio Barrera Maturana
Fuente: Archaeology Review (Mediaeval Studies Department), Jaen University
Tipo: Publicación 
Idioma: Spanish
Fecha: 17-02-2019
En movimiento
Most the efforts of those people and organizations working in walls field is concentrated on reporting why building them is a systematic violation of Human Rights: because of the impact in people`s lives –no matter if they are migrant or not- , the generation of violence and illegal business (bribery, tax havens…)
In the case of migrants, overcoming the wall implies a second obstacle: to be confined in one of the Detention Camp for Foreigners -CIE in Spanish- that have mushroomed across the EU.
Autor/a: Migreurop
Fuente: Migreurop’s Close the Camps project
Tipo: Web 
Idioma: French mainly although some texts are translated into English
Fecha: 01-01-1970
Like if it was a wicked game, migrant people have to cross several small walls before facing the big one.
Autor/a: Fronteras Invisibles
Fuente: Fronteras Invisibles
Tipo: Web 
Idioma: Spanish
Fecha: 17-02-2019
Un primer paso
Since it is impossible to tumble the wall down overnight, we should erode the social one which is sustaining it. But how do we do it? Using reliable information, awareness and action.
Biased, decontextualized, alarming and intentioned information is a mainstay for many of the current walls. We propose that part of a he journalist´s job should be to help create a more democratic, fairer and really free world, through a reliable and diverse information.
Autor/a: Jean Paul Marthoz (author of the guide originally written in French). Carles Solà and Marta Muixí have translated this guide and turned into a journalistic project
Fuente: Proyecto Corresponsals de les migracions
Tipo: Publicación 
Idioma: Catalan (but the book Couvrir les migrations by Jean Paul Marthoz, is written in French)
Fecha: 19-05-2013
Social networks have helped to spread the word as well as to give cyberactivism a chance. This is a key first step but it can´t be the only one.
Autor/a: CEAR
Fuente: CEAR
Tipo: Video [00:01:40]
Idioma: Spanish
Fecha: 01-04-2014